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Apple Updates The iPad– Meet The iPad Air and iPad Mini With Retina Display

ipad air ipad mini retina display

Its been a busy day for Apple and after taking care of the Mac and iWork Apple gave some love to the iPad announcing the latest updates to the iPad line with iPad AIr and iPad Mini with Retina Display. While the updates Apple did give these two iPads weren’t revolutionary and didn’t include cool features like Touch ID or come in gold, they do help make two of the best tablets out there today even better.

ipad air 1

Let’s start with the new full size iPad, the iPad Air. As the Air part of the name would suggest, the latest iPad is much thinner and lighter than older iPads, while still being everything you’d expect of an iPad. It’s got a much faster A7 processor (as seen in the iPhone 5S), faster WiFi chips, a better FaceTime HD camera with dual mics for better audio capture while of course still keeping the same great 9.7 inch Retina Display, 10 hour battery life, and 5 megapixel camera found on the iPad 4. But again, the big thing with the iPad AIr is how much thinner and lighter it is. It’s 20% thinner and at just 1 pound 28% lighter than the iPad 3/4.

Considering how much is in here and how the iPad 2/3/4 weren’t too large already, getting even smaller and lighter without sacrificing anything is pretty incredible. Combine the thinner and lighter design with iOS 7 and free iWork and you’ve got a pretty solid laptop replacement for school.

ipad mini with retina display

The iPad Mini also got a pretty nice update today that was needed and expected. In particular it got a bump to a faster processor and Retina Display. The new iPad Mini with Retina Display keeps the same design as the old iPad Mini but adds all the same features the iPad Air has including the Retina Display, A7 processor and better FaceTime HD camera. Adding the new Retina Display and faster processor did cause the price on the Mini to go up a little though, as it now starts at $399 for the 16 GB WiFi version up from the $329 it cost for the 16 GB non-Retina Mini. Though while the Mini with Retina got a price increase, Apple will continue to sell the older iPad Mini for only $299 for the 16 GB WiFi version (down $30).

Both new iPads will come in WiFi or WiFi+4G LTE versions (all carriers will offer the new iPads, including Sprint and T-Mobile) in either white or “space grey.” Pricing and storage for the iPad Air is the same as it was for the iPad 4, so it starts at $499 for the 16 GB WiFi-only version and goes up from there (up to 128 GB WiFi+4G LTE Air for $929). The iPad Mini with Retina Display will start at $399 as we said above for the 16 GB and go up from there (up to $829 for the 128 GB WiFi+4G LTE Mini with Retina).

The iPad Air will be available on November 1st while the Mini with Retina Display will be available “later in November.” For more info check out Apple’s site for the iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display.

Here We Go: Apple Sends Out Invite For An iPhone Event Next Week

apple iphone 5s invite

It’s been rumored for months and the date was leaked a few weeks ago but now it’s all official. Apple this afternoon sent out invites for an event next week where they are expected to announce two new iPhones, the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.

The iPhone 5S is said to be the successor to the iPhone 5 and have a similar design with a faster processor, larger battery, 13 megapixel camera with improved flash, and a fingerprint sensor in the home button. The 5S is also said to come in a gold/”champagne” color in addition to the usual white or black.

iphone 5c leak 2 colors

The new iPhone 5Cs next to the gold iPhone 5S (pic from BGR.in)

The iPhone 5C is a cheaper iPhone that is said to be replacing the iPhone 4S at the bottom of Apple’s line-up. It will be made of plastic instead of the aluminum the 5 and 5S are made of, but will come in a wide range of colors including yellow, pink, light green, light blue and white. Yes, the same colors as the ones seen on the dots on the Apple invite above. The 5C is said to have many of the iPhone 5/5S’s features like running iOS 7 and having a 4 inch Retina display, but it won’t have all the newest parts like the faster processor, 13 megapixel camera and fingerprint scanner. Then again, since it’s supposed to be several hundred dollars cheaper than the 5S we wouldn’t expect it to.

Both the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C are expected to be released about 10 days after Apple’s event, on September 20th.

There are also rumors that Apple might use this event to update the iPad, iPad Mini and MacBook Pro but most expect those to be updated in October as Apple has done in the past. Whatever Apple does announce though you know we’ll have it covered for you here.

More info: USA Today

Apple Sends Out Event Invites– Are New Macs and The iPad Mini Coming Next Week?

ipad mini invite

Over the last few weeks there has been a lot of talk that Apple had one more big event up its sleeves for 2012. Well, yesterday Apple confirmed all those rumors, sending out invites to an event next week, Tuesday, October 23rd.

ipad mini mockup 2

One of the many “mock ups” of what the iPad Mini will look like (pic via Apple Insider)

So what can we expect? Well, according to the latest rumors Apple will be taking the wraps off a new, smaller and hopefully cheaper “iPad Mini.” As we wrote before, the iPad Mini is said to have a 7.85 inch screen (down from 9.7 inches on the regular iPad), a thin design with an aluminum back similar to the iPhone 5, the new Lightning port in place of the older iPod dock connector, as well as other standard iPad features like cameras on the front and back for FaceTime, iOS 6, and the availability to buy it in either WiFi only or WiFi+4G LTE versions. Specs wise its said to be similar to the iPad 2, with an A5 dual-core processor with 512 MB of RAM.

Now while this isn’t as powerful as the new iPad, it should still be fine for most things like browsing the web, using apps, reading books etc. And these “older” specs have their benefits as the rumors also say we can expect a cheaper price for the Mini iPad– the base 8 GB WiFi-only version possibly now starting at $249 or $299 and going up to $650 for the 64 GB WiFi+4G version (with options for 16 and 32 GB versions as well). If you want a cheap iPad for internet, apps and books– and don’t plan on storing lots of movies, pictures or music– this may be perfect for you.

There are also strong rumors that Apple is planning to finally introduce that long-awaited 13 inch version of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, as well as reveal some new designs to the iMac and Mac Mini lines.

As always we’ll have it all covered for you back here. So make sure to check back on Tuesday for everything you’re gonna need to know about whatever Apple announces.

Don’t Buy that New Mac Yet– Apple Holding “Back to the Mac” Event This Wednesday

apple back to the mac invite

As we’ve all seen, Apple’s focus of late really has been on mobile– mainly it’s iOS devices like the iPhone 4, iPad, and new iPod Touch. Sure there have been some updates to the Mac line during this time, with updated Mac Minis and spec updates to the iMac and MacBook lines, but there really hasn’t been any major shakeups to the Mac that warranted a special Apple event. Well, this looks like it’s all about to change as Apple has scheduled a “Back to the Mac” event for this Wednesday, October 20th.

All the rumors seem to point to an updated MacBook Air (with the rumors suggesting that this update will not only include the expected spec bump but also a design update to the unibody aluminum as seen on the recent MacBook Pros– which is about time since the Air hasn’t really been updated design-wise since its launch in 2008. Oh, and there are rumors that a price drop is in the cards, which also would be very nice– the current Air starts at $1,499 and is not exactly cheap by any stretch of the imagination) and a preview of the next version of OS X, probably named something to do with a Lion (see the Lion in the back of the Apple logo in invite above?). What exactly is in OS X “Lion” is anyone’s guess, but seeing all the success of iOS I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple finally begins outlining a way to merge their two OSes’ into one (and there have been rumors for a while now of Apple doing real touchscreen Macs). Personally though, I’m just hoping for a “one more thing” that allows the iPhone/iTouch to FaceTime with computers (who knows, it’s Apple after all and stranger things have happened!).

Whatever it is that Apple does announce, you can bet to find all the info you need and want to know back here so make sure you check back on Wednesday! And while we wait… anyone else have any other guesses/hopes/wishes for what Apple’s got planned?

Don’t Buy that New iPod Yet– Apple Holding a “Special Event” September 1st

apple invite september 1 event

Remember how a couple of weeks ago we wrote about how Apple might be planning to release some new iPods soon? Well, get ready as they may be coming next week. Today Apple sent out invites (see the pic above) for yet another “special event” they’re hosting next week (September 1st), and as we can clearly see from the “Apple Guitar” this event (like all previous September Apple events) looks to be iPod and media related.

So what can we expect? New iPod Touches are pretty much all but confirmed, and there’s a ton of rumors going around about them packing those dual cameras for FaceTime as well as a Retina Display and Apple A4 processor like the iPhone 4. An update to the Apple TV is also gaining strong in the rumors, particularly that it will now be running its own custom version of iOS with no hard drive built-in (the current Apple TV has 160 GB built-in)– instead relying on an all new streaming music and video service for content (this is yet another item gaining a lot of strength on the rumor wire, with the talk being that Apple is releasing their own 99 cent movie and TV show rentals as well as some form of streaming music service from iTunes to your particular iDevice of choice).

What does all this mean to you? If you plan on buying a new MacBook for school and getting the free iPod you should probably hold off on it for just a few more days— as that deal runs until September 7th and this event is on the 1st. And if you’re going for a free iPod Touch you may as well get the latest and greatest right?

Remember to check back next Wednesday for our complete breakdown on whatever it is that Apple reveals.

New Macbooks Coming Next Week!

The Macbook event invite

Apple just announced today that next week on October 14, they will be releasing new Macbooks! What these Macbooks are exactly remains anyone’s guess, but the strongest of rumors claims that all the Mac notebooks (including the regular Macbook) will be made out of a single piece of aluminum. Some weaker rumors say everything from new trackpads (maybe glass ones with a multi-touch screen underneath, basically an iPhone in a Macbook), to a Mac tablet (see more info on these and other Macbook rumors here).

While we unfortunately won’t be there in person :(, we will, of course, give you all the info once it comes out next week. In the meantime, hold off on that new laptop purchase and feel free to give us your guess/wish on what you think will happen next week at this Apple event in the comments.

Pix and Info from Engadget.com