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.
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
If you’re looking for a new iPad, iPod or MacBook this holiday season you’re gonna want to listen up, as Apple just revealed their Black Friday deals. As expected there aren’t any major “doorbuster” deals to be found here, but there still are some solid discounts.
The iPad 4 has been given a $41 discount and now starts at $458 for the 16 GB WiFi model (with $51 and $61 discounts for the 32 GB and 64 GB WiFi only versions). The iPad 2 16 GB WiFi model got a $31 discount to $368, though if you want one of these we’d still recommend going with Walmart or Target’s deals instead. The new 5th generation iPod Touch (the one with the color back and 4 inch screen) has also been given a $31 discount and now starts at $268 for the 32 GB version. The older iPod Touch and new iPod Nano were each given their own small discounts, bringing their prices to $178 and $111 respectively.
The MacBook line is where the big discounts happen. Apple has taken $101 off of each of their MacBook lines– the MacBook Air, Pro and Pro with Retina Display. Of course this brings them to the same prices you could get the rest of the year if you use a student discount, with the exception being the base 11 inch MacBook Air which is now $898 (it’s usually $950 with a student discount).
Apple also dropped the prices on their iPad Smart Covers and Smart Cases, as well as for their headphones , routers and wireless mice and keyboards. And no, unfortunately there doesn’t look to be any deals for the iPad Mini or iPhone 5.
You can check out the full list over at Apple’s site here.
Still looking for a new MacBook Air or Pro for school this year? Well then you may wanna check out Best Buy. As part of their back-to-school promotion, Best Buy is giving any current or incoming college student with a .edu email address $100 off any new MacBook. Now while that sounds a lot like what Apple is doing, it’s even better. Best Buy is doing this on top of the price you would pay for the MacBook had you bought directly from Apple with a student discount.
In other words, look at it like this. The latest, cheapest version of the 11 inch MacBook Air (with 64 GB of storage) normally costs $999, or $949 with the student discount when you buy directly from Apple. Best Buy starts the pricing for this Air at $949, and when you then add their student discount you’re down to $849. The more powerful, base model of the 13 inch MacBook Air (with 128 GB of storage) is normally priced at $1,199, or $1,149 with the student discount from Apple. Best Buy starts the pricing for this same Air at $1,139, so with this $100 student discount this Air is now only $1,039… you get the point. It’s a great deal.
To get the deal all you have to do is go to Best Buy’s Student Deals site, enter that .edu email and print the coupon. That’s it.
Now as great as this is there are a few downsides. The first is you’ll need that .edu email address, so if you’re in high school that might be hard to get (though you could ask a friend or sibling to let you use theirs). You also can’t customize the MacBooks like you could if you ordered directly from Apple’s site, and Apple also gives you an $100 iTunes Gift Card as part of their back to school deal, something Best Buy doesn’t seem to match.
Oh, and you can only use the coupon once and you have to use it in a Best Buy store and have your student ID with you. Sorry no online ordering.
But hey, $849 for the latest MacBook Air is definitely one of the best back to school deals we’ve seen this year.
More info: Best Buy Student Deals
If you’re looking for a new computer this back-to-school shopping season and really wanted to go with a Mac we really hope you waited. As expected, Apple didn’t just launch Lion today, but they also announced some pretty major updates to its MacBook Air that should make it a much better choice as your next computer.
We got all the details for you below, so read on.
It looks like all the final pieces of OS X Lion are now finally coming into place. We knew the price ($29.99), we knew where to get it (Mac App Store), we knew the major new features to look forward to, and now we finally know that final missing piece: the date. Apple just announced that OS X Lion will be available tomorrow, July 20th, for all to download from the Mac App Store.
Apple of course hasn’t said anything about if there will also be new Macs to go along with the big release, but if there are you know that we’ll have all the info you need to know about them right here.
And for everything you need to know about Lion and what makes it so great make sure to check out our round-up post here.
With Apple’s next big version of OS X, called Lion, seemingly set to launch any day now a lot of you want to know “what exactly is so great about Lion and what does it mean to me?” Well, we’re gonna recap everything you need to know about Lion for you right here so you’re ready for whenever it actually comes out.
Let’s get to it.
If you are planning on buying a new Mac anytime over the next week we recommend you try to hold off until at least next Thursday. Rumors are Apple is planning some big things for next Thursday, July 14th, the day according to the latest rumors, they are expected to release the next major update to OS X, OS X Lion. We already went through everything you should be looking forward to in Apple’s next big desktop OS (for a recap see here and here), but there are also rumors that Apple is planning to update its MacBook Air (and possibly MacBook and Mac Mini) lines the same day.
As we all know, the MacBook Air is one incredible little computer with one of the thinnest designs we’ve ever seen. As we wrote last year, it’s so thin and light– while still keeping a full keyboard and great screen– that its perfect for traveling and taking to school every day. The problem with those current MacBook Airs though is that they could be a whole lot faster if they were using some of Intel’s latest and greatest Core i5 and i7 processors found in the new MacBook Pros and all modern PCs (the Core 2 Duo on today’s Airs is a few years old to say the least). Well, in this rumored update the new Airs would not just get these much faster new processors, but also an even faster Solid State Drive (this is similar to the storage found in iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads and is faster and gives the computer better battery over the traditional hard drive) and a ThunderBolt port (Apple and Intel’s next generation of USB that would make transferring files from your computer to an iPhone/iPod/backup hard drive a lot faster). Yeah these new Airs look to be ridiculously fast.
There are even more rumors that we may see a MacBook Air released at a price of $899 or $100 cheaper than the current 11 inch MacBook Air that starts at $999.
Much faster, possibly cheaper, and with Lion pre-installed? Yeah, if you’re looking to go Mac back-to-school shopping this weekend we definitely think you should wait a few more days to see if this comes out.
Apple today finally took the wraps off its annual, highly anticipated back to school deal with a major new twist: the traditional free iPod Touch has been replaced with the new deal being the usual discounts on all Macs and a free $100 iTunes gift card that can be used in any of Apple’s iTunes stores (iTunes, App Store for iPhone/iPad, Mac App Store and iBookstore).
While we don’t know why Apple decided not to do free iPod Touches again this year (or even better, some discount on an iPad with the purchase of a new Mac) the deal, which runs from today, June 16th, through September 20th, is still pretty good in our opinion. Think about it, most of us have iPods– or are using our phones as our iPods– now anyway so unless you really needed a new one, getting $100 to spend in iTunes and getting apps for your new Mac can be very valuable (as Apple puts it: “so you can get Pages, Numbers and Keynote for your studies. And still have plenty left for your study breaks.”). Oh, and the brand new, upcoming OS X Lion will be free to anyone who buys a new Mac now and before whenever the official launch date is, so you don’t have to worry about buying that for $30 next month either.
Now a lot of you want to know what’s different between this new 2011 Apple back-to-school deal and Microsoft’s offer of a free Xbox 360 with any new PC $699 or higher. There actually is a lot. Beyond the fact that Microsoft’s deal is cheaper (you can buy a PC for $699 and get the free 360 whereas the cheapest MacBook– the one from last year and not the new MacBook Pros— is $899 even after the $100 discount), Microsoft’s deal is also open for any current high school or college student unlike Apple’s which looks to be only college (the official language is “college students or students accepted to college” so incoming college freshmen you’re still good. Parents of college students and teachers of any grade are also eligible so if you’ve got a sibling in college or a nice teacher you can still get in on this deal). Microsoft is also giving away more in terms of the free add-on (an Xbox 360 4 GB is $200 whereas even if you include Lion in the Apple deal you’re still at $130).
I guess what it really comes down to which would you rather game on: Xbox 360 or Mac/iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch? Let us know your pick of which deal you think is better in the comments.
Info from Apple
It may be hard to believe but iMessage was only one of the many things unveiled by Apple this week at WWDC 2011. In addition to that major news, Apple also had a few other pretty big announcements regarding what we can expect in the next versions of iOS and OS X: iOS 5 and OS X Lion (sadly there was no new iPhone 5 announced here). So what exactly did Apple say and what does it mean for you? Read on for the full breakdown.