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.
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.
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.
Interested in seeing what Apple has to announce as it happens? Well you’re in luck. Apple has decided to stream todays big event on their website and you can watch it on Macs using Safari 4 (or later), Apple TV or on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch (as long as it’s running iOS 4.2 or later). Apple’s expected to show off a lot today including updates to the iPad and iPad Mini, MacBook Pro and Mac OS X.
We’ll have what you need to know wrapped up back here but if your interested in watching what happens live you can head on over to Apple’s site here. The event kicks off in a few minutes at around 1 PM EST/10 AM PST.
More info: Apple
While Apple released updates to the iPhone last month in the iPhone 5S and 5C they’ve been pretty quiet this year when it came to updating their other products like the iPad and the MacBook Pro. Well, just like it has been over the past few years Apple has scheduled one more big media event for next week, sending out invites this week saying that they have “a lot more to cover.”
So what can we expect? From the iPad side of things rumors are that Apple will introduce the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 with both coming in either space grey or white (like the iPhone 5S). Specs wise both are expected to get faster processors (A7 in the iPad 5, A6X in the Mini 2), better front and back cameras, and the iPad Mini is rumored to finally be getting a Retina Display to help it better keep up with the latest 7-8 inch Android tablets like the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX, Google Nexus 7 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0. There are also rumors that Apple will bring the iPhone 5S’ new Touch ID fingerprint scanner over to the new iPads.
Are these the cases for the iPad 5?
The new iPads are expected to have slightly updated designs with iPad 5 getting a bit thinner along the sides of the screen as seen above in the leaked pictures from Sonny Dickson. Pricing and storage options for the new iPads are expected to be the same as they are today, with a release rumored to be in early November, just like last year.
On the Mac side things are equally interesting. Apple announced their big software update for OS X back in June called Mavericks and its expected to be released before the end of the month. While Mavericks has some of nice new features the biggest is that its much more efficient with your computer, so things will run faster and better. It is so much more efficient that it may even give your current MacBook a boost in battery life.
And while Mavericks is expected to work on most recent Macs running Mountain Lion (10.8), Apple is also expected to finally update the MacBook Pro with Retina Display to Intel’s new Haswell processors and introduce a MacBook Air with a Retina Display. Both would be very welcome updates giving the Air a much better screen and the Pro much longer battery life. We also wouldn’t be surprised if Apple used this event to kill off the old MacBook Pro with a DVD drive (it’s the last Mac that’s sold with a DVD drive and the Pro with Retina is clearly the future). Basically, if you’re looking for new MacBook or a new iPad you should wait a little bit longer.
Of course since we’re talking about Apple it is possible they will have some surprises (an “iWatch” or Apple’s competitor to the Samsung Galaxy Gear is a big rumor floating around). The event is next Tuesday and we’ll of course cover everything you’re gonna need to know back here.
Waiting for iOS 7? Well, your wait is now almost over. Today Apple announced that their new OS will be available for download starting on September 18th. The free update will work on the iPhone 4 or later, iPad 2 or later, iPad Mini and 5th generation iPod Touch.
Apple also added some new features to iOS 7 like the ability to tell you how long it will take to get to work or school right from the Notification Center, the ability for Siri to search Wikipedia and Twitter, as well as some new ringtones. The bigger news though is what Apple did with the iWork, iMovie and iPhoto apps– making all of them free. If you get a new iOS device (like one of the new iPhones also announced today), when you’re setting it up you’ll be prompted with a screen that lets you download Pages (Apple’s version of Microsoft Word), Numbers (Apple’s version of Excel), Keynote (Apple’s version of PowerPoint) as well as iMovie and iPhoto for free. Pages, Keynote and Numbers cost $10 each in the App Store today, while iMovie and iPhoto each cost $5 (GarageBand will still cost $5). Basically Apple just gave away $40 worth of awesome, useful apps for free.
There’s no word yet on if current iOS users will be able to get these apps for free as well or if they’ll only be for people who buy a new iOS device. In the meantime check out our earlier post here for everything that’s new in iOS 7 and back up you’re phone. It has a major update coming very soon.
More info: Apple
It may be crazy to think but this Wednesday the App Store will turn 5 years old. Put simply it’s been an amazing 5 years with the App Store now home to over 900,000 apps and over 50 billion downloads. To celebrate this momentous occasion Apple has made five of the App Store’s most popular games and five of the most popular apps free for a limited time. The games include hits like Tiny Wings (and Tiny Wings HD for iPad), Where’s My Water?, Badland, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, and Infinity Blade II. In the apps area, Apple is giving away Barefoot World Atlas, Day One (a journal app), How to Cook Everything, Over (a photo editing app) and Traktor DJ. All of these apps usually cost between $2 and $20 (Traktor DJ is the $20 one if you were wondering), making this a very nice gift from Apple.
The App Store officially doesn’t turn 5 until this Wednesday and we’ll keep you updated if Apple has anything else planned to celebrate. In the meantime, head on over to App Store from your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch for all the details on these birthday deals.
More info: Apple
It may be a little later than usual but today Apple revealed their 2013 back-to-school deal. The deal is similar to what it has been the past few years: when you buy any new Mac or iPad using your college ID, Apple will give you an iTunes gift card worth either $50 (if you buy an iPad) or $100 (if you buy a Mac). Apple also has now expanded the program to include the iPhone, so if you use your student ID to buy one you will also get a $50 iTunes gift card. And as usual, when it comes to Macs this is all on top of the regular discount Apple gives students (between $50-$200 off new computers. Unfortunately there is no student discount for the iPad or iPhone).
Apple says the deal will work for those in college, accepted to a college, or for a parent buying for a college student as long as you buy that new Mac/iPad/iPhone from an Apple Store (physical or online) or from one of their Apple campus stores. The deal runs until September 6th, so if you were waiting for Apple’s back-to-school deals before you bought that new MacBook or iPad, here you go.
More info: Apple
As you’ve probably heard by now, if you have a recent iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad you’re device is about to look very different come this fall. Earlier this week at their annual WWDC event Apple didn’t just give the MacBook Air a nice update but announced the future of iOS, iOS 7. In addition to adding some new features, with iOS 7 Apple decided to completely change the look of iOS, updating the design to one that is more modern and “flat.”
Here’s a quick rundown on some of the things that are new and the things you should care about in iOS 7.
One of the most popular and addicting games for the iPhone and iPad has finally gotten a sequel. Yes, today is the day Temple Run 2 hits the App Store, and like the original, it is free to download.
While the idea and controls behind the game are the same, Temple Run 2 brings some much nicer graphics, a new course with new obstacles as well as new power ups and the ability to ride in a cart and zip-line. Oh, and you now will be chased by a “bigger monkey.”
As big fans of the original Temple Run we’ve already downloaded the game on our iPhone 5 and we gotta say, it’s a pretty great update. We really love the new graphics and the new course keeps things challenging. It’s the same great Temple Run we all know and love, just now even better. This should be a great time waster for the spring semester.
Oh, and don’t worry Android users, video game site Polygon talked with Imangi– the creators of the Temple Run games– and Temple Run 2 should be in the Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore next week.
So what are you waiting for? Go download Temple Run 2 from the iTunes App Store and let us know what you think.
More info: Temple Run 2 (link opens iTunes)
Late last week Apple began selling their long-awaited iPad Mini as well as a new iPad 4. The iPad Mini was the long rumored smaller version of the iPad while the iPad 4 was more of a surprise update to the iPad 3, giving it some nice updates to make the bigger iPad even better. Now we know a lot of you, particularly anyone who just bought an iPad 3 over the last few months, are wondering what exactly is new here, but don’t worry, we’ve got everything you need to know about both of these new iPads ready for you after the break.
Later this week Microsoft will release Windows 8, their latest and greatest version of Windows. Unlike all earlier versions of Windows, Windows 8 is pretty much a complete re-working of the Windows we have today. It isn’t just a few speed improvements and some nicer looking graphics (though it does have those too).
Windows 8 is Microsoft’s view for the future of the computer, but before you run out and buy a new PC, or upgrade your current one, read on. We’ll explain what’s new and different here and what it means for you.