Since there's so much video available for free online, I avoid paying for content. Therefore, my main use for my $99 Apple TV device has been to use the AirPlay feature to stream free content from my iPad. Most of the best channels that come with Apple TV require a subscription, such as Netflix and Hulu, or they require that you already have a cable TV service (which I don't). So it was a real revelation when I tried the two new channels that Apple TV added Tuesday: Yahoo Screen and PBS. Each offers a trove of content—and all of it is free. These two channels may be the most compelling reason yet to get an Apple TV if you're someone who's considering cutting your cable subscription.
It's now a lot easier to shop in Apple's online store via your iPad thanks to Apple's new free app Apple Store for iPad. It does a good job of using the larger screen space of the iPad to enhance your shopping experience, while having some useful features.
On Sunday the Israeli publication Calcalist (Google translation here) reported that Apple has purchased a company called PrimeSense, which makes chips used in 3D motion-sensing and computer vision. Their technology is used in Microsoft's popular Kinect (see image accompanying this post), which lets users of Microsoft's Xbox video game console and Windows PCs control the devices and play games just by making motions in the air. The article speculates that Apple will use the technology in conjunction with the rumored HDTV that Apple has been said to be working on. And it notes that Apple does indeed have patents regarding controlling a TV via motion sensing.
The Korea Times reported today that Apple will be launching a 12.9-inch iPad early next year, according to "an official at a local Apple supplier in Korea." The source says that Apple's Korean supplier is already producing the display. Also, the iPad will not only be larger but will also have improved picture quality, approaching that of ultra high-definition. When Apple introduced the iPad Air last month, a number of observers suggested the name change opened the door for an 'iPad Pro," paralleling Apple's line of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. The Korea Times says Apple is making the move to compete with Samsung and LG, who will also be introducing larger tablets next year. And the Sony VAIO Tap 11, with an 11.6-inch screen, is already available.
Initially the impression that Apple gave was that the iPad mini with Retina display was pretty much the same as the iPad Air, but smaller. Same processor, same high-resolution display, same camera. But small differences are emerging. The processor clock speed on the iPad Air is a bit higher than the retina iPad mini, and now AnandTech is reporting that the new iPad mini has the same color gamut as the first generation device, and a smaller range than the iPad Air. Their article shows the sorts of tests they run to measure a display's performance. The new mini clearly has a narrower color range. However, they said the difference is a non-issue and that while the difference is apparent, it's small. They say it would mainly be of concern to photographers and other professionals who need the best possible color reproduction.
It's time to start planning your Black Friday shopping, with some great deals available on November 29, the day after Thanksgiving. In fact, some deals are starting on Thanksgiving this year. Among the websites tracking iPhone- and iPad-related deals are iMore and IntoMobile. One of the best deals on the iPad may be Target's, which is offering a $100 gift card with any iPad purchase. Plus, they're lowering the price of the price of the 16GB WiFi iPad Air to $479. So that means that, in essence, you're getting the iPad Air for $379.
As with the iPad Air, the early reviews of the new iPad mini with Retina display are stellar. Overall, the consensus is that the new iPad icontinues to lead the other smaller screen tablets.
Associated Press: The $399 price of the iPad mini might too pricey for those on a budget, says the Associated Press, and in that instance recommends one of the other tablets or the first-generation mini. "But if you're looking for a top-notch experience, you can't go wrong with the new Mini, even with the higher price tag."
The Korea Herald today published a report saying that Apple's iWatch will come in two sizes: 1.7 inches for men and 1.3 inches for women. The information comes from a Taiwan conference presentation by a market supply chain analyst who cited sources from within Apple. Of course, nothing is officially known, though Apple CEO Tim Cook has indicated that new products are coming. The article also says the watch will possibly have a flexible display and could launch as early as the end of this year (which seems a bit optimistic).
You've no doubt heard about the terrible typhoon in the Philippines and the desperate straits faced by the many thousands of people there who have been left without food and water. Apple has made it very easy for you to contribute to a Red Cross relief fund.
The new iPad mini with Retina display is now on sale in the online Apple Store. It became available early this morning, and then Apple sent out a press release later in the morning. The Apple Store shows shipping times as 1–3 business days for the 16GB and 32GB models, and 5–10 business days for the other models. According to the press release, if you want to buy the new mini by going to an Apple Store, you'll need to buy it online and then pick your purchase at the Apple Store. The press release says it's also available via authorized resellers such as cell phone carriers. A post by AppleInsider says that Apple Stores hadn't yet received stock of the mini as of this morning.
Now that the new iPads have launched, it's time to begin the next rumor cycle. And already there are increasing rumors Apple will introduce a larger-screened iPad in 2014. According to a post on AppleInsider, drawing on a Chinese website, the new iPad is in a late stage of testing and will have either a 11.4- or 12.9-inch display. The rumor has been around for several months, and even the Wall Street Journal has reported that Apple was working on an iPad with a display slightly less than 13 inches. Of course, when Apple announced the iPad Air, many speculated that the name change was part of a plan to introduce an "iPad Pro," following the naming conventions of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.
On Sunday Bloomberg gave a big boost to the incipient rumor cycle surrounding the next iPhone, reporting that Apple is developing two new iPhone models slated for next fall that will have curved displays of 4.7 and 5.5 inches. Bloomberg's source? "A person familiar with the plans." As always, there's no way of knowing how accurate this information is. And often Apple itself doesn't decide on a particular model until later in the process, after testing a variety of prototypes. But it does seem credible that Apple will develop a larger iPhone, since the mobile industry is definitely tending toward offering a variety of sizes. Given that Apple is offering different-sized iPads, it's reasonable they'd take this step with the iPhone.
Apple still hasn't announced a release date for the new iPad mini with Retina display. The only word so far is what they said last month—that it would be available in late November. It will be interesting to see if the mini does indeed launch then. According to a report on AppleInsider, based on an article in a Korean publication, one of the suppliers of the display (Sharp) is having problems making the display, which is causing the mini to be delayed. This is in line with earlier rumors, but this article finally gives more details. It says that LG is also making the displays, and isn't having problems. However, the article says that another report said that LG, is also having problems. AppleInsider says Apple may need to turn to its rival Samsung to also manufacture the displays in order to meet its needs. It's possible the mini will still launch in November, but will be in limited supply.
AppleInsider has reported today that Apple will soon begin offering in-store repair of displays, volume buttons, vibrating motor, rear-camera, and speaker system on the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. They'll also replace the home button on the iPhone 5c but not the iPhone 5s, because of the Touch ID.
Target is offering a special promotion through Saturday, November 9, that will get you at least $200 for your old iPad. That includes the first-generation iPad, with Target's offer likely being much more than you'd get for it on eBay. This offer is in-store only. They're referring to their offer as a "trade-in," but you can use the gift card for any purchase at any Target store. Your iPad must be able to power on, and the screen must be without scratches. They appraise your iPad at their mobility kiosk, and depending on which model, they may offer you more than $200. Click here to find a Target store near you.
Let me begin with a disclaimer—I am fully aware that I am not as knowledgeable as the people that work at Apple. I am in no place to label the decisions made by one of the biggest technology firms in the world as mistakes. I am merely a (high school) fan trying to make sense of their decisions from the outside looking in. That being said.... For the past few days, I've been mulling over the Apple event (and the chatter around it). Specifically, what's really been on my mind is the iPad lineup with the new iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina Display.
The iPad Air is truly a big hit, and now speculation is focusing on when the iPad mini with retina display will become available. Apple only said "late November" when they announced the new device. MacRumors reported last week that the Target website is listing an availability date of November 21. We don't know, though, if that's simply an educated guess or if it's based on information the retailer has from Apple.
With the iPad Air now on sale and sales outselling the previous model by over three times (according to reports), it's clear that it's a success. There is however a question that remains... would the iPad Air have sold as well if the iPad mini with Retina display went on sale at the same time?
We know the iPad mini with Retina display is in short supply, due to some manufacturing difficulties and display shortages, but there was more than likely enough supply to begin an initial rollout at least in the U.S., Canada, and possibly the UK. So why would Apple only announce the mini's release as "Later in November?" It’s simple, because the Air needed some breathing room to gain traction and to prevent the Mini from cannibalizing its sales.
Every review of the new iPad Air I've seen gives the new device high praise, most often speaking in superlatives.
Bloomberg News: Bloomberg calls it the "best tablet on the market." The review describes the small size but in addition notes the iPad's usefulness for productivity via the free office apps. Bottom line: "With the rise of quality tablets from Google, Amazon and others, it’s no longer the only choice. But it’s still the best choice."
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