News flash: Apple is adding a new storage option for the iPad with Retina display. Come Tuesday, February 5 the new iPad will sell with 128GB of valuable space in black and white for $799 (Wi-Fi model) and $929 (WiFi + Cellular model). Once it’s out, the latest and greatest fourth-gen Apple slate will be available in 16, 32, 64, and 128 gigabyte variants. Perhaps this will pave the way for iPhones and iPods to finally see storage capacity bumps in the future.
Apple intros 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, updated Mac mini & iMac, fourth-gen iPad & iPad mini
On Tuesday Apple took the stage for the second time in two months to announce a slew of new hardware. The 13-inch MacBook Pro has been gifted a Retina display to match its 15-inch brother, the Mac mini packs the latest specs, the iMac slimmed down in a major way, a fourth generation iPad with Retina display replaced its six month old predecessor, and the tablet now has a smaller companion in the iPad mini. Read on for the full rundown organized by product category.
13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
This summer Apple introduced the “next-generation” MacBook Pro with a 15-inch model featuring a Retina display with a resolution of 2880 x 1800. This week the 13-inch model received a similar upgrade. The new MBP sports a 13.3-inch display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 (that is 4x the number of pixels than the previous 13-incher). Apple is calling it “the world’s second highest resolution notebook display” behind the 15-inch MBP with Retina display, of course. The screen promises rich color, deep blacks, 29 percent higher contrast ratio, 75 percent reduced reflection, IPS for 178 degree viewing angle, and 300 nits brightness. The optical drive is gone, and this allows for a slimmer design; the new MBP is 0.75 inches thin (20 percent thinner than before) and weighs 3.57 pounds (almost a pound lighter), making it the lightest MBP ever. It features a FaceTime HD camera, backlit keyboard, left and right speakers, glass multi-touch trackpad, built-in WiFi, Bluetooth, and 7 hours of battery life. Ports along the left side include MagSafe 2, two Thunderbolt ports, one USB 3 port, a headphone jack, and dual mics; on the other side there’s an SD card slot, one HDMI port, one USB 3 port. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display specs start at 2.5GHz dual-core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and 128GB flash storage for $1699. Now shipping.
Apple’s MacBook lineup includes 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pros with and without Retina displays and 11 and 13-inch MacBook Airs.
Jump after the break to see the new Mac mini, iMac, iPad, and iPad mini. (Click here for more…)
On March 19 Apple released a statement announcing that their “resolutionary” new iPad is the fastest selling slate they’ve sold so far. In just three days–from launch on March 16 to the 19th–Apple sold over three million new iPads.
Apple’s Phil Schiller said this. “The new iPad is a blockbuster with three million sold―the strongest iPad launch yet. Customers are loving the incredible new features of iPad, including the stunning Retina display, and we can’t wait to get it into the hands of even more customers around the world this Friday.”
That Friday, March 23, has come and gone and now the iPad is being sold in an additional 24 countries. No further announcements have been made, but rest assured that the new iPad is doing just fine on the market. Who knows? Maybe the idiom “sells like hotcakes” will one day become “sells like iPads.”
In other news, AT&T has announced that it has set a new single-day record for its iPad sales and activations. Full PR after the break.
On Wednesday Apple announced the next generation iPad. No, it is not called the iPad 3 or the iPad HD; it’s simply the new iPad. In addition to updating what Apple CEO Tim Cook calls “the poster child of the post-PC world,” the March 7 keynote also introduced enhancements to iOS, iCloud, Apple TV, and the mobile versions of iWork and iLife. First let’s focus on the most talked about news at hand, the new iPad; then jump after the break to read about everything else.
First and foremost, the new iPad features Apple’s Retina Display technology. They’ve managed to pack four times more pixels into the new iPad’s 9.7 inch multitouch screen than the tablet’s predecessor. The new iPad sports an impressive 2048 x 1536 resolution with a 3.1 million total pixel count (264 pixels per inch) and 44% greater color saturation over the iPad 2. This means that the new iPad contains more pixels than your average HDTV (1920 x 1080)! Packing all of these pixels in a relatively small space means: razor-sharp text, richer colors, and when viewed at a normal distance iPad owners will not be able to discern individual pixels and this makes for a better overall user experience.
Powering the new iPad is the Apple A5X high-performance low-power system-on-a-chip. It serves as a dual-core processor with quad-core graphics. The new chip will help the iPad run faster and support the millions of pixels glaring out of the Retina Display. It will also manage the tablet’s equally impressive battery life. The new iPad boasts the same longevity as the iPad 2: 10 hours of use on WiFi and 9 hours on a cellular network.
The camera on the backside of the iPad has been upgraded to iSight Camera status. It’s a five-megapixel shooter and full HD 1080p video recorder. The camera features backside illumination, f/2.4 aperture, a 5-element lens, a hybrid IR filter, an Apple-designed ISP (Image Signal Processor) that allows for auto exposure, auto-focus, auto face detection, auto exposure lock and auto focus lock, and auto white balance. In video recording mode, you’ll notice video stabilization and temporal noise reduction. On the front you’ll still find a FaceTime camera that takes VGA-quality stills and also shoots video at up to 30 frames per second.
Although Siri has yet to make her way to the iPad, Apple has included a piece of the personal assistant in the new slate. The virtual keyboard now features a new Voice Dictation key (it’s a microphone icon) that translates what you say into the text you want to type. Dictation supports English and other languages like British, French, German, Japanese, and Australian. It’s also compatible with third-party apps meaning you can dictate your Tweets or Facebook status updates if you like.
With the new iPad, Apple has embraced 4G LTE data speeds. Again they are working with AT&T and Verizon to bring these ultrafast speeds to consumers in the US. The new iPad features the most wireless bands ever shipped in a device; check them out: the AT&T model includes 4G LTE (700, 2100 MHz), UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz), GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz); and the Verizon model includes 4G LTE (700 MHz), CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900 MHz), UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz), GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz). Rate plans can be viewed here. Elsewhere Apple is collaborating with Bell, Rogers, and Telus to bring these speeds to other countries around the world. Additionally, the new iPad can act as a personal hotspot to share its data speeds with up to five devices over WiFi, Bluetooth, or USB. And speaking of which, the new iPad also packs Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth 4.0 technology.
At 9.4mm thin and 1.4 pounds, the new iPad will come in black and white variants and maintain the same capacity and pricing scheme as its predecessor. It’ll start at $499 for the 16GB WiFi-only model and will reach up to $829 for the 32GB WiFi + 4G model. The iPad 2 will remain on the market at one Benjamin cheaper; it will only sell in the 16GB capacity at $399 for the WiFi-only model and $529 for the WiFi + 3G model. The new iPad will release on March 16 in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia. One week later it will come out in 25 more countries making the new iPad the fastest product rollout for Apple. It’s available for preorder today at Apple’s website.
Jump after the break for more on iOS, iCloud, Apple TV, and updates to the mobile versions of iWork and iLife. (Click here for more…)
At long last, Skype for iPad is here. Everything you’re used to using on the iPhone/iPod touch version of the app has been ported to the tablet and optimized for the bigger screen. Like the iPhone version this app allows for two-way video calling between other iPads, iPhones, iPod touches, Android devices, PCs, Macs, and HDTVs over WiFi and 3G. It also takes advantage of both the front and back-facing cameras. For the rest of the deets, hop after the break to read the full app description. There you’ll also find a brief demonstrative video. But I know what you really want: click here to download the free Skype for iPad app today.
It’s mid-June which means it’s finals time for students in middle and high school. It’s proven that making flashcards is a great way to study for a test. If you use this method and happen to own an iPad, you’ll want to learn more about Evernote Peek. The folks at Evernote have designed a new app around the iPad 2′s smart cover accessory. So you know how the smart cover works, right? When you attach the accessory to the iPad, it automatically aligns to the screen (magnets). The cover instantly wakes up and puts to sleep the iPad when it’s applied and removed thanks to the built-in ambient light sensor. Evernote figured out a way to take advantage of this simple yet intriguing behavior.
You have a vocabulary test coming up. Goodbye flashcards, hello iPad. Lift up the smart cover flap to peek at a definition. Close it and think about what the word might be. Lift the cover again and you’ll be presented with the correct answer. The app will track which definitions you remember; the ones you get wrong will be saved so you can study them again later. Designing your own study guides using Evernote Peek is easy. All you have to do is create a free Evernote account and connect it to the app. Text and visual clues can be used to help you study. See it in action in the video above.
All in all Peek gives students yet another way to study for tests, albeit one that brings them one tap closer to accessing distractions like Facebook and Angry Birds. But it’s not like flashcard studying doesn’t take place in front of the computer screen. Download Evernote Peek for free in the App Store today.
Today Apple brought the house down in San Fransisco’s Moscone Center where they previewed the latest versions of Mac OS X, iOS, and a new service called iCloud. Quote of the day comes from Apple CEO Steve Jobs who introduced the developer event with this: “If the hardware is the brain and the sinew of our products, the software in them is the soul.” The next-gen iPhone was nowhere to be found; today was all about the magical software that keeps Apple’s momentum chugging along at great pace. And now without further ado, let’s dive right in! It’s all after the break. (Click here for more…)
Enjoy this stop motion-enhanced Plasticine model in action!
At an event dubbed Photoshop World 2011, an Adobe exec demonstrated the future of Photoshop…on an iPad! You might think Photoshop Express in the App Store is a useful tool to edit photos on a mobile device, but you ain’t seen nothing yet. Resizing, manipulating, and applying filters to images is a smooth experience on this conceptual, futuristic version of Ps for iPad. The coolest feature, though, is the ability to add layers and view all applied layers in a 3D animation mode that reveals how exactly they are organized in relation to one another. But alas–this tease of an insanely cool iPad app is but a concept and no release date was shared with the event’s crowd in awe.
The BBC comedy series Spout brings us a shocking look into the severe medical condition known as iPaditis. I recently visited the doctor and was diagnosed with a mild case of it; if you own a touch-based iDevice I suggest you do the same.
The next generation iPad is nearly here. Tomorrow, March 11 it arrives in stores. Starting at 5PM local time, all 236 Apple retail stores in the US, AT&T stores, retailers like Best Buy, Target, Verizon Wireless, and Walmart and select Apple Authorized Resellers will unleash iPad 2 unto the world. Starting at 1AM Pacific Time customers will be able to order the tablet online through the Apple Store. As you know, the iPad ranges in price from $499 to $829 determined by storage capacity (16, 32, 64GB) and connectivity (WiFi, WiFi + 3G with AT&T or Verizon). Black and white models will be available at launch. For those of you who have patiently been waiting for updated iPad hardware, today is the day to reward yourself and celebrate.
And here’s a nice surprise. Along with iOS 4.3, Apple has let loose the new iPad versions of GarageBand and iMovie one day early. They’re both available for download at the App Store for five bucks each.
Official PR after the break. (Click here for more…)
Today Apple released the latest version of their mobile operating system–that is, iOS 4.3–one day earlier than expected. Just about coinciding with the launch of iPad 2, iOS 4.3 brings with it all kinds of goodies including significantly increased Safari performance, iTunes Home Sharing, AirPlay improvements, iPad side switch behaviors, and personal hotspot functionality for iPhone 4; it’s all detailed right here. Bug fixes and the like are bundled in too; hop after the break to find a rundown of what’s included. iOS 4.3 is a free download for all GSM iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and third and fourth-gen iPod touch owners. Connect your iOS device to a computer, fire up iTunes, and you’ll be notified to download and install the update.
In related Apple news, their hobby puck has also received a welcome system update. ATV owners will now be able to stream baseball and basketball games through the ether straight to their TVs thanks to MLB.tv and a NBA League Pass Broadband support. These services require pay subscriptions. In addition, Netflix has received 5.1 audio support. Cheers to that!
On Wednesday Apple revealed the next generation iPad. The iPad 2 is very much an evolutionary iterative device. It is faster, lighter, and thinner than its predecessor, packs back and front-facing cameras, and comes preloaded with a new version of iOS. Take my hand and let’s discover everything that makes iPad 2 the next extraordinary tablet, or as Steve Jobs calls it the “third blockbuster post-PC product” joining the iPod and iPhone.
Specs are important to you, hm? Then let’s start there. iPad 2 is faster. It features Apple’s new 1GHz dual-core A5 processor that is up to 2X faster than the A4; it boasts up to 9X faster graphics and somehow still maintains the same low power as the A4. Battery life remains the same at 10 hours with over a month of standby. iPad 2 is lighter and thinner. It is a mere 8.8mm thick, that’s 33% thinner than the original iPad (13.4mm). In fact, it is even thinner than iPhone 4 (9.3mm). It also lost some weight dropping from 1.5 to 1.3 pounds. On the front you’ll find a VGA camera that takes pictures and records video at 30fps; the camera around back shoots video in 720p HD also at 30fps and can do 5x digital zoom. The built-in gyroscope will assist the device in locating itself in space and orientation; higher precision in gaming will result. Last, Apple has hooked up with AT&T and Verizon to bring 3G data to the tablet.
iPad 2 is coming sooner than you think. It will be made available for purchasing March 11 in two color options: black and white (thankfully the latter ships “from day one”, teehee). Pricing remains the same, too; iPad 2 will come in various capacities (16, 32, 64GB) and models (WiFi, WiFi + 3G) starting at $499. After releasing on the 11th in the U.S., the new iPad will make its way to an additional 26 countries (including Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, and the UK) on March 25.
Learn all about iPad 2′s accessories, iOS 4.3, and new apps after the break. (Click here for more…)
“New times require new journalism. Our challenge was to take the best of traditional journalism, competitive shoe-leather reporting, good editing, a skeptical eye, and combine it with the best of contemporary technology.” That’s how News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch opened up the launch event for his company’s brand new digital newspaper The Daily. It’s being described as “the industry’s first national daily news publication created from the ground up for iPad.” News Corp. and Apple worked together to come up with a news source tailor-made for the tablet community. The Daily will push out new content every day and publish up to 100 pages focused on these specific areas: news, sports, gossip and celebrity, opinion, arts and life, and apps and games. It takes advantage of the iPad’s multitouch display by providing interactive methods of implementation. For example, the home screen of the app provides readers with a carousel view of the day’s news, and you can easily swipe through them and tap on the ones that interest you most. Also, you can use your fingers to take a 360 degree view of a photograph. In addition to photos, the paper will highlight news using text, embedded videos, audio, information graphics, and real-time data and social feeds. For example, inside the gossip and celebrity section you might find a Twitter feed of a celeb who is making headlines and discover what she is up to that way. In short, The Daily allows its editors to deliver stories to their readers in new and exciting ways that simply are not possible in the realm of TV, radio, and traditional papers.
The Daily also includes… A selection of articles can be read aloud to you by actual people (read: no GPS-like robotic voices); the paper can be customized with your preferences (think: weather, sports teams); the apps and games section provides reviews and ratings for select iPad applications and will link you directly to the App Store if you decide to purchase an app; Sudoku and crossword puzzles are available to play within the app; readers can leave comments on Daily stories in either written or audio form; said stories can be bookmarked and saved for reading later; stories can be shared with others via Facebook, Twitter, and email (those who receive shared stories can read Web-friendly versions of the articles even if they’re not subscribers).
Readers are promised a new Daily to be automatically downloaded to their iPad straight from the either 365 days a year with new content everyday. If a day happens to be packed with breaking news, the editors can jump into the paper at any time and provide readers with the latest news (they can even change the cover story if they like). All of this comes at a price; since The Daily is an iPad-driven news source News Corp. does not have to worry about paper, factory, and delivery costs and the savings trickle down to the subscriber. It’s priced at $.99 per week or $39.99 annually, not bad at all. The first two weeks of use are free, thanks Verizon Wireless. It’s first application made available on the App Store featuring a subscription model; subscriber fees are billed directly to an iTunes account. The Daily app is available to download today right here.
The Daily promises a new voice for a new technologically-advanced era. I’m excited that a powerfully influential force in Murdoch’s News Corp. is behind the first digital paper made from the ground up for the iPad, and I’m equally curious to see how newspaper readers respond to it. It’s easy to assume that the young crowd of 20-somethings will take the charge in signing up for subscriptions, but what I’m most interested in seeing is whether or not those people who are used to reading traditional (read: physical) papers will take a liking to The Daily and transition over to it. At the get-go it certainly takes advantage of Apple’s tablet in terms of browsing and visually immersive experiences, so we’ll have to see if the editorial team can keep things up all throughout the year. If they continually pump out new content and update the app appropriately with readability improvements, I envision a bright future for the newspaper readers of tomorrow.
Look after the break a visual tour of The Daily and official PR.
We’ve seen some rather crude uses of the iPad forced to make music happen, but nothing like this. Alt-hip-hip group Gorillaz produced a 15 track album called The Fall using 20 iPad apps and just a few other instruments. The album was recorded, mixed, and mastered in 32 days while the band was on tour. Frontman Damon Albarn fell in love with the iPad when he first got it, and shortly thereafter decided to “[make] a completely different kind of record” with it. Here’s the list of apps the band used:
Speak It! / SoundyThingie / Mugician / Solo Synth / Synth / Funk Box / Gliss / AmpliTube / Xenon/iElectribe / BS-16i / M3000 HD / Cleartune / iOrgel HD / Olsynth / StudioMiniXI / BassLine / Harmonizer / Dub Siren Pro / Moog Filatron
While it “has a much slower and more basic vibe than the Gorillaz’ normal high-production, technically superior collections” (as described by CNN), there’s no denying the sheer amount of ambition that went into this unique project. Preview the first track “Phoner To Arizona” after the break.
The Fall is a Christmas gift for the fans; right now it’s available in digital form on the Gorillaz website. (To stream the album you must supply them with your name and email address; to download a copy for keeps you’re required to become a fan club member.) The album will officially release in physical form sometime next year.
OnLive, that gaming on-demand cloud-based service you’ve been hearing so much about, has found its way to the iPad but not in the way you might suspect. No you cannot demo and purchase games on Apple’s ubiquitous device; what can do, however, is hook up to OnLive’s servers to watch other people play games. With the free OnLive Viewer app you can spectate live gameplay, view and rate Brag Clips, add your favorite players to a friends list and send them messages, and view trailers for current and upcoming games. Says John Spinale, OnLive VP of Games and Media: “Watching live games and interacting with the people playing them takes social gaming to an entirely new level. It’s unlike any other experience. And people love it.”
But this is just the beginning for OnLive on portable devices. The company promises that the update will receive an update sometime next year that will allow users to demo, purchase, and instantly play games and create Brag Clips–so much more than just spectating. What they’re waiting for is games to become “touch- or motion-aware” so that gameplay is more suitable for a touchscreen experience a la the iPad. CEO Steve Perlman says that the app “is the last piece of the puzzle to unify the worlds of TV, computing and mobile all under one real-time cloud-based platform, enabling previously inconceivable experiences, capabilities and live, video-rich social interaction.” Beyond gaming, Perlman’s plan is to have the app bring the touch-based Windows 7 OS to OnLive users, effectually porting Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight to iOS and Android devices.
For now you’re stuck with spectating–but it’s not all that bad actually. Download the free app here and give it a whirl. An Android version is currently in beta.
But not so fast! There are two stipulations that must be discussed. First, SlingPlayer for iPad is only compatible with Sling SOLO and Sling PRO-HD boxes; all the rest are left in the dust, unfortunately. According to Engadget Sling will soon offer a $50 voucher for those who are itching to upgrade to a newer box. What’s interesting is that SlingPlayer for iPhone has a wider compatibility range; it works with the aforementioned boxes and the SlingBox PRO. And that brings me to point number two and more bad news. If you already purchased the $29.99 app for iPhone, you’ll have to shell out another thirty bucks to use the iPad version of the same app. Well, it’s not exactly the same app since the iPad version is tailored for a larger screen, but still. Sling assures that users can use the iPhone app to stream content on the iPad in a “Compatibility Mode”, but these users will not experience the “higher quality resolutions” provided in the iPad version. If I may quote Jigsaw from Saw, the choice is yours. Full PR after the break.
If you are a proud owner of an iOS device today is your lucky day. Apple has finally unleashed iOS 4.2, and it brings oh-so-much to the aging iPad and a handful of sweet features to the iPhone and iPod touch. Here’s the laundry list of new features coming to the iPad: multitasking, folders (you can store up to 20 apps inside a folder), Game Center, and updates to Mail (Unified Inbox, fast inbox switching, a threaded message view). In other words, it’s playing catch up with the iPhone and touch. Also bear in mind that the physical toggle switch on the iPad’s side no longer acts as an orientation lock; now it’s a mute switch, just like it is on the iPhone. The lock has been moved to the dock tray that also houses the iPod controls. With the new update, all iOS devices will gain the ability to find and highlight specific words and phrases on web pages in Safari, select new fonts in Notes, beam video and audio with AirPlay, and print wirelessly with AirPrint. Let’s talk about the latter two new features because they are exciting additions. With AirPlay you can stream music, video, and photos wirelessly from your iOS device to Apple TV and AirPlay-enabled speakers. On the video front, you can only stream files you’ve purchased from iTunes (or managed to convert to make playable in iTunes) and from YouTube. If you try to beam video content from Netflix or the ABC app, for example, only the audio will cross over. Bummer, I know. If you want to print wirelessly with AirPrint, you must own a compatible printer; Apple says HP Photosmart, HP LaserJet Pro, and HP Officejet will be the first to support it. iOS 4.2 is compatible with iPad, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, second and third generation iPod touch, and the latest iPod touch. You’ll be prompted to update the next time you open iTunes.
Right on cue Apple TV owners received the 4.1 firmware update today, granting them the ability to harness the power of AirPlay. That is, of course, if they also own a compatible iOS device.
Last, the MobileMe Find My iPhone feature no longer requires a MobileMe subscription to access and use. Apple has turned it into an app, and it’s available in the App Store today. In case you forgot, Find My iPhone helps you locate your missing device on a detailed map. You can also have it display a message or play a sound to make finding your missing device easier. And if you are forced to give up the search, you can remotely lock or wipe data from the lost device. The free Find My iPhone feature is available for iPhone 4, iPad or new iPod touch (4th generation).
Look after the break for Apple’s PR.
They hinted at it, and now they’re delivering the goods. SlingPlayer is coming to the iPad in all its video slinging glory. According to Sling “the video quality is better than any mobile app we’ve ever done”, so that’s something to be excited about. You can channel surf by flicking up and down on the iPad’s large display. But I won’t give away all the sleek, cool features. Hit play and watch the nearly five minute demonstration above. Expect the app to release soon for $29.99.