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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.

iPad Rumors: 8 Megapixel Camera, Touch ID for iPad 5


One rumor had suggested Apple would be holding an iPad event October 15, but I'm starting to doubt that. It almost certainly will happen this fall, but it's not clear when. While the new form factor of the forthcoming iPad 5 is fairly well documented, other details have been sparse. But now AppleInsider is reporting that both the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 will have iPhone-quality 8-megapixel cameras. Citing KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the report says that the cameras will have an updated five-element lens module with larger aperture and possibly the larger 1.5-micron pixels seen in the iPhone 5S. 

Latest Rumors: Retina iPad Mini Delayed; iWatch to Have Flexible Display


If Apple does have an event this month to announce new iPads and new Mac laptops, it's hard to imagine what they'll offer regarding the iPad mini. Reuters is reporting today that the high-resolution retina display for the iPad mini simply isn't yet ready for production, according to sources in Apple's supply chain. 

Virgin Mobile Offers $100 Off on iPhones; Plans Start at $35/Month


Virgin Mobile began offering the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c yesterday, and this is quite likely the least expensive option for having an iPhone. Virgin is a no-contract carrier, meaning that you pay for the total cost of the phone up front and then pay as little as $35 per month for service. This lowest tier includes unlimited text and data, and 300 anytime minutes of calling. To take the bite out of that initial cost, Virgin Mobile is selling the unsubsidized phones for $100 less than Apple sells them. You can get the 16GB iPhone 5s for $550 and the 16GB iPhone 5c for $450. 

More Detail on the Amazing iPhone 5s Camera, Including Sample Slow-Motion Videos


Likely one of the main reasons the iPhone 5s is off to such a remarkable start is the amazing camera, which has features that no other camera has, smartphone or otherwise. An excellent article on Computerworld gives an in-depth look at the technology inside the iPhone 5s camera, including the value of the larger sensor in letting in more light. The article also discusses the new Image Signal Processor in the A7 chip that gives capabilities only found in high-end cameras. For example, it uses "tonal mapping" to independently enhance the contrast in individual areas of the photo. It also uses multi-zone metering to give you much better autofocus.

Video Clearly Shows the Dimensions of New iPad Expected in October


Unhappily I'm in the market for a new iPad mini, having dropped mine this morning and cracked the screen. So I'm doubly looking forward to Apple's announcement of new iPads in October. One rumor has said the event will be coming Oct. 15. I hope that's correct. Meanwhile, we still know little about the new iPad mini, while videos continue to surface showing in detail what the new fifth-generation iPad will look like. The latest video (see below) gives the clearest overview yet of the relative sizes of the current iPad and iPad mini compared to the fifth-generation iPad. And again it shows that the new iPad will be thinner, lighter, and narrower. It also shows that there will be a second microphone on the back of the device. I don't recall having seen that detail before. 

New iPads To Be Silver, Space Grey; Apple Working on 12-Inch iPad


There's a surprising lack of buzz surrounding the anticipated introduction of new iPads in October. I suspect one reason is that we already know a fair amount about the fifth-generation iPad: it'll be thinner, lighter, and narrower, with narrower bezels left and right, and a form factor similar to the iPad mini. Another reason may be that no one is expecting anything major, unlike last year when the iPad mini was announced. So far it's a bit of a mystery what sort of upgrade the mini will receive, with some rumors saying it'll get a retina display and others saying that a retina model won't be ready until next year.

iPhone 5s and 5c Drop Tests and Durability Test Results


One might think the plastic case on the iPhone 5c would make it more durable, but several tests have now shown that the 5s stands up much better. In fact, it even survives a drop of 10 feet when in Apple's new case. Android Authority was likely the first site to report a drop test, posting a video on the same day that the phones were first available. 

iPhone 5s Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor Hacked by German Group


The Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the new iPhone 5s has been well received. Apple says that half of smartphone owners don't use any security at all, so Touch ID should provide greater security just by making it easier for people to restrict access without having to go through the step of a passcode. But fingerprint sensors have been shown in the past to be vulnerable, and the day after the iPhone 5s was released, a group of hackers in Germany claimed to have defeated Touch ID security. (See the video below.) But it's not easy, and it's unlikely that most bad guys would go to this much trouble. 

Here's how they describe the steps necessary to perform this hack:

5 iOS 7 Features You Should Know About


I've already covered basic tips and useful hidden features in iOS 7. Now I'd like to cover a few new features that seem important for everyone to be aware of. 

Some Useful Hidden Features in iOS 7


Last week I posted some basic tips for iOS 7. In this post I want to share some useful but not obvious features.

For those of you who find iOS 7 harder to see, in addition to selecting a darker wallpaper, as I explained in my previous post, you can make the new slimmer system font bold so that app names are more visible. Do this by going to Settings>General>Accessibility, and turning on Bold. In addition, you can increase the font size by going to Settings>General>Larger Type, and adjusting the slider. This doesn't appear to affect fonts on the Home screen but does increase the size of fonts in those apps that take advantage of this feature, including most of Apple's apps such as Mail.

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