We've come to the end of another year, and as we wave goodbye to 2013, we figured it was only fitting that we share the most popular stories published on Gear Live this year, as determined by our readers (we've also got the top ten most read stories regardless of publish date, as well as the ten most popular Gear Live videos of 2013!) These are the ten stories that were read the most, and when you consider that fact, it's pretty surprising to see what made the list. Let's kick it off with our most read story of the year:
I bring you my Apple Pencil review in this episode. Apple designed the Apple Pencil alongside the new iPad Pro, to allow artist to draw and sketch on the tablet, but also for everything to be able to write and take notes as well. I am not an artist by any stretch of the imagination, but I was very impressed by what I could accomplish with the iPad Pro once I had the Apple Pencil in my hands.
It gives an immediate sense that you can do more with the iPad, and when you go into an app that is use for image editing or drawing, even someone like me all of a sudden feels capable. It's rare that I get that Apple feeling that a lot of people who aren't technically inclined get. I'm an expert, and know all the features and how they work. With the Apple Pencil though, I definitely felt it - I'd say that I suck at drawing and fail at Photoshop...but with the Apple Pencil, I was empowered to try those activities with surprising results.
I highly recommend the Apple Pencil to buyers of the iPad Pro!
You can pick up the iPad Pro now!
I bring you my full review of Apple's epic iPad Pro in this episode. It's the largest iPad to date, and the largest iOS device to date, with Apple hoping that this can be the tablet that will replace your laptop. How does it succeed? I talk to you about all the iPad Pro features that are meant to make this a premium tablet, including things like multitasking, the Smart Connector for using Apple's Smart Keyboard and third-party keyboard add-ons, and of course, the use of the Apple Pencil and how important it is to the iPad Pro experience. Of course, there's also the A9X processor, 4GB RAM, and greatly-improved speakers, and the gorgeous 12.9-inch Retina display.
The iPad Pro starts at $799 for 32GB Wi-Fi model, and also comes in a $949 128GB Wi-Fi model, and a $1079 128GB Wi-Fi + LTE version, which is the one we used in this review.
You can pick up the iPad Pro now!
Apple has released the epic new iPad Pro, and in this episode I give you a first look at the large iOS device. As you'll see, the iPad Pro sports a huge (by tablet standards) 12.9-inch Retina display. On the outside, it looks just like another other current-generation iPad, just bigger. On the inside though, there's a lot more power. It's the first iOS device to ship with 4GB, and paired with Apple's A9X processor, this thing is fast. It amounts to an iOS experience that is smooth and fluid, doing everything from navigating the home screen, opening apps, multitasking, and even editing video a breeze. The massive screen immerses you into its world - I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's true. Open up a high-resolution image, video, or game, and you are brought into that place.
You can pick up the iPad Pro for $799 for the 32GB mode, $949 for 128GB, and $1079 for the 128GB model with LTE support. Must-have accessories include the Apple Pencil, and the iPad Pro Keyboard, which connects via the new Smart Connector. Check out the video for the full rundown!
You can order the iPad Pro now.
Apple released the brand new Apple TV 4th generation recently, in both a 32GB and 64GB model. Once you pick it up and get it hooked up, you'll have to go through the setup process. Unfortunately, the on-screen keyboard on the new Apple TV is less than awesome. Luckily, there is a cool shortcut you can use if you own a recent iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. Using the Bluetooth connection that is in both the Apple TV and the iOS device, you can use the iOS device to speed up the setup of the Apple TV. In this episode, I use an iPhone 6S Plus to get my Wi-Fi and iCloud credentials onto the 64GB Apple TV, showing you how to get through the process quickly!
You can pick up the Apple TV 4th Generation now!
iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch will be big holiday gifts this year, make no mistake about it. The Apple TV is actually a fantastic complement to Apple's handhelds, worthy of being featured in our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide. Having recently been completely revamped for the release of the fourth generation model, the new Apple TV is a nice little device in its own right. At the center of it all is the App Store, which now lets you download TV-optimized apps and games, all playable using the new Siri Remote, as well as favorites like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, sports networks, and plenty of other entertainment options. The best part, though, is AirPlay. You can beam audio and video content right to the Apple TV with ease from your iOS device, or your Mac. You can also mirror the display of these devices as well, all wireless over your home network.
Honorable Mention: Amazon Fire TV
Read More | Apple TV
Thinking about picking up the Apple iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus? Make sure you check out my full review of both Apple 2015 flagship smartphones in this episode! I give you a rundown of all the new iPhone 6s features - things like 3D Touch, Live Photos, the new 12 megapixel iSight camera, 5 megapixel FaceTime HD camera, second generation Touch ID, Taptic Engine, 7000 series aluminum body, Retina Flash, 4K video recording, and so much more!
Join me as I walk you through each new feature, as well as specify the subtle differences between the iPhone 6s and the larger iPhone 6s Plus (spoiler: battery life and optical image stabilization!)
You can pick up the iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus now!
Apple has eliminated most of the fun from Apple Store iPhone launches! In this episode, I am waiting for the iPhone 6S to launch at the Alderwood Mall Apple Store. Typically, there are hundreds of people all camped out, waiting in line, and generally switching between having a great time and hating life depending on the temperature and the rain. This year? For the vase majority of the night it was 3 people. THREE PEOPLE! I was the third to arrive, getting there at 8:00PM the night before launch - last year by then there were 80 people in line. The next person didn't arrive until about 4:30am - 8.5 hours later. I do finally get my hands on the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, and bring you an unboxing of the device as well.
You can order the new Apple iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus now.
Apple has released OS X 10.11 El Capitan to the public, and all users with compatible Macs are able to download the updated version of Apple’s desktop operating system for free from the Mac App Store. Just launch the Mac App Store to grab the download, or if you don’t see it, you can use this link to take you right to it: OS X El Capitan
OS X El Capitan brings with it a slew of bug fixes and performance improvements, tightening up everything from last year’s Yosemite release. That said, there are still quite a few user-facing improvements as well. These include:
Apple hopes to fix the issue of distracted driving with CarPlay, Apple CarPlay is a smarter, safer way to use the features of your smartphone while you're in the car, giving you access to things like Apple Music, phone calls, text messages and iMessages, podcasts, Maps, audiobooks, and more. Once you plug your iPhone into a CarPlay equipped vehicle, you see the interface appear right on the dashboard. In this case, I am using the 2016 CHevy Colorado Z71 pickup truck, which ships with Apple CarPlay.
CarPlay features Siri voice control and is specially designed for driving scenarios. It also works with your car’s controls — knobs, buttons, or touchscreen. And the apps you want to use in the car have been reimagined, so you can use them while your eyes and hands stay where they belong.
You can get the Apple iPad mini 4 now!