Apple introduces Retina iPad mini, aims for November release date

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Date: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013, 00:31
Category: Hardware, iPad, iPad mini, News

Now THIS is the thing you’ve been hankering for.

Per Macworld, Apple announced a new iPad mini with Retina display at its press event on Tuesday, the company also lowering prices for the original iPad mini, giving its smaller tablet much-anticipated upgrades to its screen, processor, cameras, and more.

As hoped and expected—the new iPad mini with Retina display ups the screen resolution to Retina quality, going from 1024 by 768 pixels to 2048 by 1536 pixels at the same 7.9-inch (diagonal) screen size. This change raises the iPad mini’s pixel density from 163 pixels per inch to 326 pixels per inch—a density almost identical to that of the iPhone 5s.


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The new mini gets some upgrades on the inside, as well. Whereas the original mini used the same dual-core A5 processor, at the same clock speed, as the two-and-a-half-year-old iPad 2, the new mini line bumps its horsepower significantly by using Apple’s 64-bit A7 processor, similar to the one in the iPhone 5s. During Tuesday’s media event, Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller said that the new processor makes the Retina iPad mini up to four times as fast as its predecessor for processor-intensive tasks, and up to eight times faster for graphics-intensive tasks. Like the new full-size iPad, the iPad mini with Retina display also features Apple’s M7 motion coprocessor, which can monitor the device’s various motion sensors (accelerometer, compass, and gyroscope) without having to wake the main processor.

The new mini also gains upgraded wireless capabilities thanks to dual Wi-Fi antennas and support for MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technology. Apple says this change allows the new iPad mini to communicate at up to twice the bandwidth: 300 MBps (megabytes per second). The cellular-equipped versions of the new iPad mini also include expanded LTE capabilities, allowing them to work on more LTE networks around the world.

Apple has also upgraded the iPad mini’s cameras slightly. Though the resolution of those cameras hasn’t changed (5 megapixels for the rear camera, 1.2 megapixels for the front FaceTime HD camera), the company says the new iPad mini gains larger pixels and improved backside illumination sensors in order to take better low-light photos. In addition, the improved image-signal processing of the A7 processor should provide better overall camera performance.

Apple says the new iPad mini with Retina display offers the same 10-hour battery life as the original iPad mini. However, it appears that accomplishing this feat while adding the additional power drain of a Retina display required Apple to increase—ever so slightly—the size and weight of the new iPad mini. The new version is exactly the same height (200mm) and width (134.7mm) as the original, but it’s a tiny big thicker (7.5mm compared to 7.2mm) and a little bit heavier: 331 grams versus 308 grams for the Wi-Fi model, and 341 grams versus 312 grams for the Wi-Fi + Cellular version.

The iPad mini with Retina display will be available in silver/white or Space Gray/black “later in November,” according to Apple. The Wi-Fi versions will retail for US$399 for 16GB, US$499 for 32GB, US$599 for 64GB, and US$699 for 128GB—a first in that capacity for the iPad mini. Cellular versions add US$130 to each: US$529, US$629, US$729, and US$829, respectively.

By all accounts, the original iPad mini has been a big hit for Apple, even though other small tablets, such as the latest Nexus 7, have debuted with better specs or lower prices. The new iPad mini line should blunt some of that spec-sheet-based criticism.

Along with the new iPad mini units, the company is keeping the original iPad mini around—in a single configuration—as a lower-price option. Specifically, the 16GB Wi-Fi iPad mini is now priced at US$299, rather than its original price of US$329, with the Wi-Fi + Cellular version at US$429. The cellular version is available for the U.S. networks of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

Apple did make one minor change to the original iPad mini: It’s now available in Space Gray or Silver, rather than the original black or white. It is available now.

Both iPad mini versions (Retina and non-Retina) ship with iOS 7 installed, and—as with all devices running iOS 7—allow you to download Apple’s iLife and iWork suites for iOS free of charge.

Finally, Apple announced new cases for its new Retina iPad mini. The new iPad mini Smart Cover, made of polyurethane, will sell for US$39. A new leather iPad Smart Case will cost US$69.

As always, let us know what you make of this and if Apple delivered what you wanted or if improvements could be made.

Apple TV update hits, adds iMovie Theater feature

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Date: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013, 00:29
Category: Apple TV, News, Software

This could prove nifty.

Per AppleInsider, following Apple’s announcement that its new iMovie apps for OS X and iOS would support a new sharing feature called iMovie Theater, the company activated an Apple TV channel dedicated to the service.

In an over-the-air update to its set-top streaming device on Tuesday, Apple is now pushing from its servers a new iMovie Theater channel to support the new iMovie apps released alongside OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

Along with a graphical overhaul, iMovie for both Mac and iOS offer new features rooted in iCloud. With iMovie Theater, users can create clips, trailers or movies and share them across devices with friends and family.

The content served up by the service can be created in iOS or OS X and stored in one location for easy access.

iMovie for iOS can be purchased for US$4.99 via the App Store, while the Mac version retails for US$14.99. Both versions come pre-installed on new devices and those who purchased the software through the App Store are eligible for free upgrades.

If you’ve tried the new feature and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Apple releases updated MacBook Pro notebooks, offers $200 drop from previous price points

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Date: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013, 00:59
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, News

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If you were hoping for a cool new Apple notebook from today’s media event, this might be it.

Per Mac|Life, Apple VP of Marketing Phil Schiller announced significant updates for the 13- and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros. Schiller announced that the 13-inch version is now both thinner and lighter, clocking in at 3.46 pounds and .71 inches thin.

The new notebooks also feature a Haswell chip, Iris graphics, all of which makes it up to 90 percent faster. All total, that deliver nine hours of battery life, enough, Schiller said, to watch Christopher Nolan’s entire Dark Knight saga in one go. But with all those improvements, Schiller had some other good news. The new MacBook Pro will sell for US$1,299, marking US$200 drop from before, and it’s even shipping today.

Schiller then moved on to discuss the 15-inch version, which has 2.4GHz Core i5, 4GB ram and a 128GB SSD, which is also shipping today. The new unit includes Crystalwell chip with Iris Pro graphics with the option to add a GeForce 750M. Additional specs include around 8 hours of battery life, PCIe Flash, 802.11ac, and Thunderbolt 2. The 15-inch unit also saw a price decrease–it now sells for US$1,999, down from US$2,199, and is also shipping today.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases OS X 10.9 Mavericks, offers OS upgrade for free

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Date: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013, 00:21
Category: News, Software

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You’ve REALLY been waiting for this one.

On Tuesday, Apple released its long-awaited OS X 10.9 Mavericks operating system. The new OS, which stands at roughly a five gigabyte download via OS X’s Software Update utility, offers the following fixes, changes and new features:

iBooks:
- Download and read books from the iBooks Store.

- Pick up right where you left off. iCloud keeps your current page up to date across all your devices.

- Swipe through Multi-Touch books with interactive features, diagrams, photos, videos, and more.

- Keep multiple books open while using other apps — great for writing a paper or doing research.

Maps:
- Send directions from your Mac to your iPhone and use voice navigation when you’re on the go.

- Explore select cities in stunning, photo-realistic 3D with Flyover.

- See detailed directions, real-time traffic, and alternate routes.

- Find restaurants, stores, and other places of interest with local search in Maps.

Calendar:
- Create new events in a snap with the new, streamlined event inspector.

- Enter event locations fast with address autocompletion.

- Add walking or driving travel time to your event so you know when to leave.

- See a map of your event’s location, as well as the weather forecast for that day.

- See holidays and Facebook events in Calendar.

Safari:
- Use Shared Links to discover new, interesting links posted by people you follow on Twitter and LinkedIn.

- Browse longer thanks to new core technologies that boost energy efficiency.

- Easily access your bookmarks, Reading List, and Shared Links in the new Sidebar.

- Protect your online privacy with new tracking-prevention features.

iCloud Keychain:
- Don’t worry about remembering passwords — iCloud Keychain fills them in so you don’t have to.

- Keep your website passwords, credit card numbers, and Wi-Fi passwords up to date across your trusted devices. Robust 256-bit AES encryption helps keep your information safe.

- Sign in once to all of your mail, contacts, calendar, and other internet accounts, and iCloud pushes them to all your Mac computers.

Multiple Displays:
- Just plug in a second display to use it with your Mac — no configuration required.

- Access the Dock and the menu bars on each display.

- Use full-screen apps on any or all of your displays.

- Use your HDTV as a second display with Apple TV.

Notifications:
- Reply to mail or messages right from a notification, without having to leave the app you’re using.

- Receive notifications for incoming FaceTime calls and reply with an iMessage or set a callback reminder.

- Receive notifications from websites, even when Safari isn’t running.

Finder Tabs:
- Declutter your desktop by consolidating multiple Finder windows into one.

- Move files between your tabs by simply dragging and dropping them.

- Select a custom view — icon, list, or column — for each of your tabs.

- Use tabs with full-screen Finder to organize and access all your files and folders.

Tags:
- Organize files with tags no matter where they’re located — in iCloud or on your Mac.

- Give a document as many tags as you want.

- Click a tag in the Finder sidebar to see all the files with that tag.

Advanced Technologies:
- With energy-saving core technologies in OS X Mavericks, you can surf the web longer on a single charge.

- Watching iTunes HD video is now more efficient, so you can watch more video when you’re not plugged in.

- App Nap regulates applications you’re not using so they consume less energy.

OS X 10.9 Mavericks is available for free and requires any one of the following 64-bit Intel-based Macs to install and run:
iMac (Mid-2007 or later), MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 or later), MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid-2009 or later), (15-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or later), (17- inch, Late 2007 or later), MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later), Mac Mini (Early 2009 or later), Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later), Xserve (Early 2009)

If you’ve tried OS X 10.9 Mavericks and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Cocktail updated to 7.0 (Mavericks Edition) released

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013, 23:51
Category: News, Software

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Not all the hefty updates came from Apple today.

On Tuesday, shareware developer Maintain released version 7.0 of CocktailCocktail, the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests. The new version, a 2.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:

- Added OS X 10.9 Mavericks compatibility.

Cocktail 7.0 retails for a US$19.00 shareware registration fee and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.9 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Apple releases iTunes 11.1.2 update

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Date: Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013, 23:08
Category: News, Software

An updated iTunes, of course, came out in the midst of everything.

On Tuesday, Apple released version 11.1.2 of its iTunes multimedia/jukebox application. The new version, a 231 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Optimized for OS X Mavericks.

- Adds support for Arabic and Hebrew.

- Improves performance and stability.

iTunes 11.1.2 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, please let us know in the comments.

Apple releases iPhoto 9.5 update

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Date: Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013, 23:45
Category: News, Software

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Pretty much everything got an update today, iPhoto being part of that “everything”.

On Tuesday, Apple released its iPhoto 9.5 update. The update, a 1.15 gigabyte download from the Mac App Store, adds the following fixes and changes:
- 64-bit support.

- The Places feature now uses Apple maps to display photo locations.

- Adds support for iCloud Photo Sharing, including the ability to post videos to shared photo streams and the ability to have multiple subscribers contribute to a shared stream.

- Adds support for iOS 7 camera filters applied to photos imported from iOS devices.

- Includes a new, streamlined interface for printing.

- Replaces the Create menu with an updated Share menu providing access to all sharing options, including print products such as books, cards and calendars.

- Fixes an issue that could cause iPhoto to quit unexpectedly when sharing an edited photo from a MacBook Pro with Retina display.

- Addresses an issue that could cause iPhoto to show incorrect file type and size information for imported TIFF and PSD files.

- Comment sheet now appears correctly when sharing multiple photos to a new or existing photo stream.

- Fixes an issue that caused photos with specific color profiles to display incorrectly on iOS devices after being shared via iCloud.

- Captions instead of version names are now synced between iPhoto and Facebook for newly-created albums.

- Privacy settings can now be managed when sharing photos from iPhoto to a Facebook Timeline.

- Videos up to three minutes long can now be shared to Flickr.

- Addresses an issue that could cause photos synced to iPhoto from Flickr to appear rotated incorrectly.

- Fixes an issue that could cause photos synced to iPhoto from Facebook or Flickr to be duplicated and reposted.

- URLs in the photo comments field can now be clicked to open the corresponding links.

- Improves reliability when working with custom locations in the Places feature.

- Improves reliability when copying and pasting photos to a new event.

- When a single photo is selected in an album, clicking the Trash button in the contextual menu now removes the photo from the album rather than from the library.

- Includes stability and performance improvements.

iPhoto 9.4.3 retails for US$14.99 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.9 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the update and noticed any changes, please let us know.

SpamSieve updated to 2.9.10

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Date: Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013, 23:51
Category: News, Software

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SpamSieve got a boost today.

Michael Tsai’s must-have shareware program, SpamSieve, has just been updated to version 2.9.10. The new version, a 10.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- SpamSieve is now compatible with the updated GM build of Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks. It is recommended that you update to SpamSieve 2.9.10 before installing Mavericks. If you’ve updated to Mavericks first, and you don’t see the SpamSieve commands in Apple Mail’s Message menu, be sure to choose Install Apple Mail Plug-In from the SpamSieve menu.

- The How can I hide SpamSieve’s Dock icon? section of the manual has been updated for Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

- Improved various other parts of the manual and Read Me.

- Tried to work around a problem where the Outlook installer received an error from the system when the Mac was running in French.

SpamSieve 2.9.10 retails for US$30.00 and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, please let us know in the comments.

Apple releases iOS 7.0.3 update, addresses accelerometer, security, assorted issues

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Date: Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013, 23:37
Category: iOS, News, Software

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You’ve been hankering for this fix.

On Tuesday, Apple released iOS 7.0.3, an updated new version of its operating system for its iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. The new operating system, which weighs in as a 59.1 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Adds iCloud Keychain to keep track of your account names, passwords, and credit card numbers across all your approved devices.

- Adds Password Generator so Safari can suggest unique, hard-to-guess passwords for your online accounts.

- Updates lock screen to delay display of “slide to unlock” when Touch ID is in use.

- Adds back the ability to search the web and Wikipedia from Spotlight search.

- Fixes an issue where iMessage failed to send for some users.

- Fixes a bug that could prevent iMessage from activating.

- Improves system stability when using iWork apps.

- Fixes an accelerometer calibration issue.

- Addresses an issue that could cause Siri and VoiceOver to use a lower quality voice.

- Fixes a bug that could allow someone to bypass the Lock screen passcode.

- Enhances the Reduce Motion setting to minimize both motion and animation.

- Fixes an issue that could cause VoiceOver input to be too sensitive.

- Updates the Bold Text setting to also change dial pad text.

- Fixes an issue that could cause supervised devices to become un-supervised when updating software.

iOS 7.0.3 is available via iTunes or Over-The-Air updating and requires an iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5S, iPad 2, third or fourth-gen iPad, iPod Touch 4th Gen or iPad Mini to install and run.

If you’ve tried the updates and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.

Apple opens in-store reuse and recycling program in UK retail locations

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 14th, 2013, 05:00
Category: iPhone, News, retail

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If you’re across the pond and looking to get something from Apple for your old iPhone, now’s your chance.

According to Pocket-lint, Apple has opened an in-store iPhone trade-in program. That means you can check your phone’s value online first then head along to an Apple Store and have it ready to trade-in, saving you money on your new handset.

“iPhones hold great value. So, Apple Retail Stores in the UK are launching a new program to assist customers who wish to bring in their previous-generation iPhone for reuse or recycling,” an Apple spokesperson has said. “In addition to helping support the environment, customers will be able to receive a credit for their returned phone that they can use toward the purchase of a new iPhone.”

So if you’re thinking of upgrading to an iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C now’s the time to do it without hurting your wallet too much.

If you’re over in England and have tried this program, let us know how it went in the comments.