Apple announces iPad Air 2 tablets, will begin accepting preorders on Friday

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Date: Thursday, October 16th, 2014, 14:36
Category: Hardware, iPad, News, Uncategorized

Apple’s top of the line iPad just got a bit thinner and faster.

Per AppleInsider, Apple announced the iPad Air 2, its next-gen full-sized iPad. The new version, which will begin preorders on Friday, includes a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, new anti-reflective screen coating, and the speedy new A8X processor.

The new iPad Air stands at 18 percent thinner than the previous model, making it the world’s thinnest tablet to date.

Like previous models, the Wi-Fi-only iPad Air 2 starts at US$499 for 16 gigabytes. But another $100 quadruples storage to 64 gigabytes, and a high-end model with 128 gigabytes runs US$699. LTE-capable versions carry a US$130 premium at the same capacities.

Preorders for the iPad Air 2 will begin on Friday, and the units will begin shipping next week.

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Apple accidentally leaks next-gen iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 details to iOS 8 document

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Date: Wednesday, October 15th, 2014, 15:35
Category: iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, News

The next-gen iPad information you wanted came a bit ahead of schedule.

According to The Verge and 9to5Mac, Apple accidentally revealed both of its new iPads: the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 on its web site. An official user guide for iOS 8 in the iTunes Store has apparently had its screenshots updated ahead of schedule; both new iPads are pictured, and the images reveal each will have a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Aside from the addition of Touch ID, it seems these latest iPads will look nearly identical to their predecessors. 9to5Mac first spotted the premature iPad screenshots. The full-resolution image is still sitting on Apple’s servers.

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It’s expected that Apple will improve the performance of each iPad with the help of an updated chipset, likely the iPhone 6′s A8 or a slightly more powerful A8X processor. What’s not clear is whether the iPad mini 3 will match the larger iPad Air 2 spec for spec. Last year, Apple essentially put both tablets on equal footing, but the company may revise its strategy to put more room between them. The user guide hints that one new feature for iPads — burst photography mode — will be available on the iPad Air 2 with no mention of the mini 3.

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Rumor: Leaked photo shows possible 2GB of RAM for next-gen iPad Air

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Date: Tuesday, October 14th, 2014, 11:02
Category: Hardware, iPad, Pictures, Rumor

The next-gen iPad Air component images are leaking at a fairly steady rate and revealing some interesting stuff.

Per MacRumors, a fairly clear image has been published by Apple.club.tw of what is said to be the logic board for the second-generation iPad Air suggests that the device will indeed come with an A8X chip, as hinted at in earlier images shared over the weekend.

Furthermore, the new image published by Apple.club.tw that seems to point towards 2GB of RAM for the device. Though the image of the RAM on the logic board is low resolution and fuzzy, enhancing the contrast and the brightness reveals a bit of information about the numbers on the chip. While the first letter is entirely blurred, it is the second character that is key to determining whether the chip is 1GB or 2GB.

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A 1GB Elpida chip would have an “8″ in the second character slot, while a 2GB chip would have an “A” in the same spot. Because of the quality of the image, it is difficult to say for certain what the character is, but it does appear to be an “A” rather than an “8″ given that it is narrower at the top and wider at the bottom.

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Apple to livestream October 16th media event

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Date: Friday, October 10th, 2014, 11:30
Category: Hardware, iMac, iPad, News, Software, Yosemite

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Apple’s next media event on October 16th will be live streamed.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Friday announced that it plans to live stream an upcoming special media event to be held on October 16th, at which the company is expected to unveil revamped iPad and, possibly, iMac models.

The event will be streamed through www.apple.com/live/ with the event beginning at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern with coverage piped to Macs, iOS devices and Apple TVs. The company sent out invitations reading “It’s been way too long” to press outlets on Wednesday.

At the event, Apple is widely expected to launch next-generation iPad models with Touch ID fingerprint recognition, upgraded A8-series processor and minor aesthetic enhancements. Photos of a supposedly “leaked” iPad Air dummy unit hit the Web earlier this week showing recessed volume control buttons, porthole speaker grilles and a slimmed-down 7-millimeter profile.

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Rumor: Apple working on a 5K iMac for late 2014/early 2015

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Date: Monday, October 6th, 2014, 10:57
Category: Hardware, iMac, Rumor

This could be really beautiful if they get it right.

Per 9to5Mac and blogger Jack March, a new line of iMacs with ultra high-resolution Retina Displays is in late testing stages within Apple, according to sources close to the story who’ve claimed to have used prototypes of the desktop. While the machine will sport a thin profile similar to that of the current design, which was introduced in 2012, it will be packed with new internals such as faster processors and improved Wi-Fi antennas. The fact that the iMac is in late testing indicates that Apple could be preparing to launch it alongside OS X Yosemite this fall…

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The Retina iMac will mark Apple’s first foray into Retina desktop computers. Apple first launched the Retina display with the iPhone 4 in 2010, expanded it to the iPad in early 2012, and brought the screen to the Mac with Retina MacBook Pros in late-2012. As for the resolution of the new Retina iMac, OS X Yosemite betas include references to 6400 x 3600, 5760×3240, and 4096×2304 resolution screens. Apple has been rumored to be working on a 5K iMac display for launch later this year, so perhaps that’s the direction Apple will take, and a recently introduced DisplayPort standard update could make this a reality.

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Rumor: Apple Pay to premiere with iOS 8.1 rollout later this month

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Date: Thursday, October 2nd, 2014, 11:32
Category: iOS, iPhone, Rumor, Software

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The rumor mill has it that iOS 8.1 will include the first incarnations of Apple’s anticipated Apple Pay feature come October 20th.

Per the coolest of cats at The Mac Observer and BankInnovation, Apple will reportedly release iOS 8.1 on October 20, and the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch operating system update will include Apple Pay support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The company launched iOS 8 in mid-September without Apple Pay mobile payment support, but Apple promised it would be enabled as part of an October update.

News of Apple’s plans comes from unnamed sources. Those sources also said Apple may have other big improvements in store for iOS 8.1.

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iPhone 6 “Bendgate” scandal leads to copycat efforts

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Date: Wednesday, October 1st, 2014, 11:33
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

Never underestimate the power of stupidity in the face of an Internet trend.

Per Daily Dot, two 15-year-old UK residents going by the names of “Kylie” and “Danny” recorded footage of themselves entering an iPhone 6 Plus and bending at least one iPhone 6 Plus handset, using the display table as leverage.

Since the iPhone 6 was released two weeks ago, it’s been plagued by claims that it’s easy to accidentally bend, something multiple people have already put to the test in videos. But not like this.

The two uploaded the following video, which was later removed, then reposted via a mirror.

Without a contract, the iPhone 6 Plus retails at US$649.
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Initial iPhone 6 Plus benchmarks show lower FPS rate, new benchmarking tools, additional pixels taken into consideration

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Date: Tuesday, September 30th, 2014, 09:39
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

In spite of some nifty new hardware, the iPhone 6 Plus may in fact generate a lower frames per second rate than the iPhone 6 or iPhone 5s handsets when it comes to rendering 2D and 3D graphics at its native resolution.

Per AppleInsider, a set of GFXBench 3.0 GPU benchmarks published in an initial reviews of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus showed moderate to significant GPU improvements over iPhone 5s across the board.

However, one of the benchmark’s developers, Eszter Szilva, stated that the current, public version of the app did not yet support the native resolutions of the new models’ displays. Kishonti provided a prerelease GFXBench version 3.0.2 that does. The benchmark app should be released publicly soon, but the developer shared a prerelease copy to complement benchmark scores.

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The adjusted benchmarks show that the A8 Application Processor used in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is around 24 to 46 percent faster at low level tasks, and around 50 percent faster at higher level OpenGL ES scene rendering than the A7 chip introduced in last year’s iPhone 5s, at least when rendering at the same 1080p resolution.

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Consumer Reports puts iPhone 6 handsets through bend-test paces, comes back with results

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Date: Monday, September 29th, 2014, 18:44
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

The Internet has exploded with images and videos of bent iPhone 6 Plus handsets as well as a viral video of someone deforming the handset with his bare hands. And, with that, Consumer Reports sprang into scientific action to perform actual tests that seem to indicate that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets may be tougher than currently rumored.

Per Consumer Reports, the publication used what’s called a “three-point flexural test,” in which the phone is supported at two points on either end, then force is applied at a third point on the top—you can see the testing for yourself in our video. The group applied and measured the force using a high-precision Instron compression test machine. Along with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, we tested the LG G3, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and HTC One (M8), and for those wondering about their old iPhones, they tested the iPhone 5 as well and used one sample of each phone.

The tests, ironically enough, seem to mirror a three-point flexural test used on Apple’s labs via their own Instron machinery.

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Opinion: Why the iPhone 6 camera is only 8 megapixels

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Date: Monday, September 29th, 2014, 18:07
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Opinion, Pictures

By Bob Snow

The iPhone 6 camera has the same 8 megapixel count as the 5s and this has spec-happy geeks bashing the phone. There are compelling reasons for going lower and I will try to lay them out.

Small sensors can suffer when they have a high pixel density. The sites that gather light become very small and they typically sacrifice low light performance. Low light performance gets traded off for higher resolution and even this becomes an issue with small sensors. No matter how high the resolution of the sensor, lens resolution comes into play much more when the sensor is small. If the sensor is small enough, the lens will not have nearly enough resolving power to take advantage of all the pixels. You need a bigger sensor for that. The image can only be as sharp as the light coming from the lens and that will most likely be the limiting factor. Think of a tiny sensor with a trillion pixels. Lens resolution will be the limiting factor.

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There is another reason the iPhone uses an 8MP sensor. Post processing. The latest iPhone 6 does a hell of a lot of post processing. According to Apple, “Auto image stabilization makes up for motion blur and hand shakiness by taking four photos with a short exposure time. Then the best parts of those photos are combined into one image with as little noise, subject motion, and hand shake as possible.” Apple is even using multiple exposures to eliminate noise in post processing. That is a lot of work, even for the powerful 64-bit A8 processor. The more pixels, the more processing that needs to happen. HDR is another feature that requires post processing. Multiple exposures are taken and then combined to create an image with greater dynamic range. Then there is burst mode. The camera takes up to ten images per second and then compares them all to select the best image. The biggest change to the camera of the iPhone 6 is the use of paired “focus pixels” which allow for phase detection auto focus. This is faster than contrast detection and provides big improvements to video and faster still shot focusing. Think about all of the post processing this phone does to the images, all without a hint of delay.

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