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iPad mini: Price, Release Date, Features and New Apple iMac

Apple introduced the world to its new iPad mini, the miniature-sized version of the best-selling iPad tablet computer. Apple unveiled the 7.9-inch tablet at a San Jose press event, telling the crowd that the new device is featherweight—tipping the scales at only 0.68 pounds.


According to Apple’s marketing chief, Phil Schiller, the iPad mini weighs about as much as a pad of paper.

The iPad mini will compete with other small tablets like Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD, Barnes & Nobles’ Nook and Google’s Nexus 7.

Less is More
The iPad mini’s sleek aluminum-and-glass design (which is 23 percent thinner than the previous iPad) makes it only as thick as a pencil. In addition to being 53 percent lighter than the iPad 3, the iPad mini features 10-hour battery life power.

The iPad mini has an A5 chip “under the hood,” and features a FaceTime HD camera and a 5-MegaPixel iSight camera. Wi-Fi models go on sale on November 2, with the cellular versions appearing two weeks afterward.

iPad mini Pricing
$329 – 16GB wi-fi
$429 – 32GB wi-fi
$529 – 64GB wi-fi
$459 – 16GB wi-fi, cellular
$559 – 32GB wi-fi, cellular
$659 – 64GB wi-fi, cellular


An iPad mini in comparison to the original, larger iPad.

Industry analysts have figured that Apple would try to find a way to court the smaller tablet market, which supports smaller, less functional tablets offered at a lower price. Apple already securely owns the larger tablet marketplace, with its powerhouse iPad dominating the niche with sales topping 84 million units.

Those iPad sales have taken place within less than three years, too – the first iPad introduced until April 2010. With the iPad mini’s heritage, it’s extremely well positioned to take on the Kindle’s of the world this holiday shopping season.

More than the Mini
But Apple was only getting warmed up with the iPad mini. The company also announced the rollouts of several other Apple products, including a beautiful new update to the iMac.


Also announced…A new iMac, which is drastically thinner and faster than previous iMac’s.

  • A new 4G iPad that boasts a 9.7-inch Retina™ display, a newly designed A6 chip and a FaceTime HD camera. This iPad will be equipped with iOS 6. On sale Nov. 2, the 4G iPad will also be available in a Wi-Fi and Cellular version. The Wi-Fi version is available in 16 GB ($499), 32 GB ($599) and 64 GB ($699) formats. The Cellular version is available in 16 GB ($629), 32 GB ($729) and 64 GB ($829) formats.
  • A sleek new 13-inch MacBook Pro that’s 20 percent thinner and a full pound lighter than previous MacBook Pros. Tricked out with a 2.5 GHz Intel processor, this new model features a Hi-Res Retina™ display with 4 million pixels. The new 13-inch MacBook starts at $1,700.
  • A new iMac, which will also start shipping in November. The new razor-thin model will start at $1,299.

 

Online ordering for several of the announced products will begin Friday, October 26th at the Apple Store.

Apple CEO Tim Cook also announced that Apple had recently reached an amazing milestone related to why you should become an app developer, with Apple stating that it had delivered more than 35 billion app downloads.

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posted by Phill Powell in News Blog and have No Comments

iPad 2: A Guide to the Must-Have Holiday Gift

There is a reason Apple sets the standard for product design. With intuitive design and lifestyle integration, getting your hands on their products for the first time makes you wonder how you ever lived life without one.


iPad 2 is THE must-have holiday gift of 2012. 

Maybe you already lead an Apple-filled life, or maybe you’re looking for a reason to start one? Either way, if you don’t own an iPad and are considering a tablet, the iPad 2 is a no-brainer.

The Give That Keeps On Giving
The iPad 2 comes with a dual-core A5 chip and 10-hour battery life – it’s thin, 0.34 inches and weighs less than 1 1/2 lbs. It’s literally ready to go anywhere. Plus, with App Store and iCloud support you can be sure anything you’re looking for can be found with it and anything you’re looking to hold onto will be kept safe in it.

Sure, there are plenty of tablets and mobile devices out there but the iPad 2 sets the standard; there’s more than one reason it sits atop of the Must-Have Holiday Gift list. All other tablets, app stores and apps are modeled after Apple’s innovations, so why settle for a cheap knock-off? This device is more than worth the money.

 Get Creative, Make Memories – with Apps!
The iPad 2′s dual-core A5 chip and graphic performance is 9x faster than the first iPad. This allows you to cruise through any app quickly and easily. Multi-Touch gestures are fluid and seamless – unlike other tablets that have clunky interfaces and delayed responses, on the iPad apps load faster than every, and multitasking is a breeze. Looking to get creative? Here are three iPad apps to make the most of your holiday memories:

iMovie
$14.99 / Apple

Apple and the iPad 2 have made it a reality for everyone to become an HD video director and at just $14.99 who can pass up that deal. This video editing app makes it easy to shoot, edit, and share HD video with all of your friends and family. Here are a few features that really set iMovie apart.


Capture those holiday moments and make memories using iMovie

Multi-Touch – Whether you are a seasoned video editor or someone learning for the first time, iPad’s Multi-Touch capabilities are incorporated into iMovie and allow you to tap, pinch, push, and drag your way through the video-editing process, allowing you to get hands on with your film using intuitive multi-touch gestures.

Themes – iMovie allow you to easily set the theme and tone of all your films with a fun-filled batch of pre-sets that give your production a top-end polish.

Photos, Music, and Sound Effects – iMovie also allows you to easily add media from your photo library or iTunes library to quickly create a multimedia project for the whole family to enjoy. And if you’re looking for ways to create your own music or more stunning graphic art, Sketchbook Pro and Garageband are two more apps to take your skills to the next level.

Sketchbook Pro
$4.99 / Autodesk

This professional-grade paint and drawing application is perfect for the professional artist on the go or the daydreaming doodler. Designed by Autodesk and developed exclusively for the iPad experience, you’ll be able to touch up photos from your library or conjure new ideas into brilliant images with this app.


With features found in products costing hundreds of dollars, Sketchbook Pro is Photoshop for iPad.

High Quality Brushes and Tools – With Sketchbook Pro you can pick from more than 60 preset brushes, pens, pencils and markers to make sure you have the right tool at your finger tips and the professional-grade paint engine built in ensures you get the smoothest and most precise brush strokes.

Multi-Touch Control – Sketchbook Pro takes advantage of iPad’s Multi-Touch capabilities to the max. A three-finger tap brings up a whole control panel and a two-finger zoom allows you to zoom 2500% and that’s not where it ends. Multi-Touch and Sketchbook let your creativity come out as quick as your fingers can move.

Layers – Layers in Sketchbook allow you to import images from your Photo Library or from your Camera to add a few touch ups or maybe make unique compositions. You can also export layers as a Photoshop document to share with a desktop or send to friends to add some touches.

Garageband
$4.99 / Apple

Want to become a music producer? Put a complete music studio in your hands with Apple’s Garageband. Using the built-in microphone you can record and produce a whole album right on your iPad.


Make real music – not just play along with colored buttons – using Apple’s amazing Garageband

Multi-Touch – Just like iMovie and Sketchbook Pro, Apple’s Garageband makes the most of the iPad 2′s Multi-Touch gesture capabilities while tapping out chords and melodies on the innovative Multi-Touch Keyboard.

Smart Instruments – Like having a group of studio musicians at your finger tips. Tap keyboard chords out with just one finger to find your groove or actually strum a rhythm out on an acoustic guitar. Looking to add some drums to that guitar riff? Use Smart Drums to just drag and drop until you find your beat.

Share It! – Once your mix is finished you can email it directly to your friends from Garageband or export directly to your iTunes.

Share Memories, Socially
Why wait to share your holiday memories? With the iPad 2 and a few powerful apps you can now share those magical moments instantly with friends and family that couldn’t make it to the party.


Bring your family closer together this holiday season using Facetime. 

Facetime for iPad - Have a brother that’s serving overseas or a sister studying in Australia? FaceTime allows you to stay connected with friends and family that couldn’t make it home this year. Facetime comes pre-loaded on the iPad, so all you have to do is click on the app to get started.

Two Cameras – Unlike some tablets, (like the Amazon Fire which has no camera) the iPad 2 features two cameras, one on the front and one on the back, to allow you to chat face to face or show people the world around you. Plus they’re HD so you can share every last detail.

Facebook for iPad and Twitter for iPad - The iPad 2 brings social sharing to a whole new level – with high-res photos, live status updates, games, chatting, and more when you combine your iPad 2 with Facebook or Twitter. Plus, Apple has made it even easier with built-in Twitter integration on Apple’s new iOS 5.

Save Memories with the iCloud
The iPad 2 has made it easier to than ever to make and share memories and now with iCloud it’s just as easy to make sure they are safe – wherever you go.

iTunes – With the iCloud you can have all of your digital media at your fingertips regardless of what device you originally downloaded it to. So if you bought Jingle Bells on your MacBook at home you can easily access it on your iPad while at grandmas and get everyone involved with a sing-a-long.

Photo Stream – With iCloud and the iPad 2 you can also use Photo Stream to access all of the pictures on any of your iDevices. Snap a photo on your iPad 2 after opening presents and know that it’ll show up on your MacBook at home. No more forgetting pictures.

No wonder the iPad 2 tops the list of every holiday shopping list. Is there nothing it can’t do? Thanks to app developers and a growing number of people who want to become an app developer.

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posted by Seamus Harte in App Development,News Blog and have No Comments

Cool Things You Can Do with Siri, iPhone’s 4S Voice Recognition

So you’ve got a new iPhone 4S and you’ve already started putting Siri, apple’s voice recognition technology, through her paces with commands like: ”Can you find me a good Chinese restaurant?” or “Who’s on first?”


You ask, she tells. Need to find the nearest local dry cleaner? Siri knows. Hungry for the best Indian food in Dayton, Ohio? Ask Siri. Ready to tweet out your status? Siri can do that, too. She’s a do-it-all digital personal assistant.

Siri’s Serious Muscle
Siri’s a master communicator; she currently recognizes and “speaks” three languages (English, French and German), but within a year, Siri will also support Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Korean and Italian. Another cool trick: through the iPhone 4S, Siri will take any words you speak and convert them into text.

Siri depends on the processing power of the dual-core A5 chip in the iPhone 4S. Siri also uses 3G, Wi-Fi and Apple’s data centers to find the answers to your questions. With all that processing power, it’s not surprising that users, developers and hackers are all experimenting with Siri’s capabilities. Siri already does plenty of things, like making telephone calls, finding business locations, searching the Internet and scheduling appointment reminders. But Siri can do so much more.

Cool Things You Do With Siri

Update Your Twitter Feed
Want to update your Twitter status but your thumbs are too lazy? In your Contacts list, under the name “Twitter” add 40404. Now text “START” to that number. When you’re prompted, respond with your username and password. Any time you want to tweet, simply tell Siri to “Text Twitter.”

Update Your Facebook
Use Siri to update Facebook in a similiar way. Just add “Facebook” to your contacts and assign the number 32665. Now tell Siri to “Text Facebook” with your update.

Check Your Bank Balance
If updating your Facebook or Twitter status isn’t enough, you can also use Siri to do your banking. It’s true; you can easily learn how to set up Siri to check your bank balance or send money to your friends.

Play Music 
SiriTunes lets you search for music using Siri and it even works if you don’t have Siri. Listen to whatever you like, whenever you like.

 

Learning How to Hack Apps
There are plenty of other great Siri hacks and tricks you can perform with Siri, although some require jailbreaking your iPhone 4S. No matter how you approach it, this great new technology is just begging to be explored. Learning how to program apps for iPhone 4S and the iPad or for other handheld platforms (like Google’s Android) can change your life.

Want to prepare yourself for a career in app development? Why not start by spending next summer at a computer summer camp like Digital Media Academy? DMA provides expert, hands-on instruction in subjects like app development for the iPhone and uses the iOS for development in its iPhone App courses. Who knows? You could make the next Siri.

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posted by Phill Powell in Apple,News Blog and have No Comments

iPhone 4S Available Oct. 14, iOS 5 Available Oct. 12, iPhone 5 ?

Based on what Apple did with the iPhone 3, we should have seen this one coming. But now we can finally separate fact from fiction. Today Apple wooed fans, technology followers and industry insiders but, for the most part, let down expecting iPhone5 owners at the “Lets Talk iPhone” event.


Inside Apple’s Town Hall conference center.

Introducing Tim Cook…
A thoughtful and steady Tim Cook, Apple’s new CEO, took the stage of Apple’s Town Hall. This was the same place Apple introduced the iPod; would this be also the place they would put it to death, as rumors had speculated? Thankfully, no. But Apple had other surprises and no, sadly, Steve Jobs did not make an appearance. Instead, news vans and tech writers swarmed the event in Cupertino, California, and mainly they came looking for a new iPhone.

“This is my first product launch since being named CEO.  I’m sure you didn’t know that,” Cook said upon taking the stage. “I love Apple and consider it the privilege of a lifetime to have worked here for 14 years and to assume this role. Today we’ll remind you of the uniqueness of this company as we announce innovations from our mobile OS, to apps, services and hardware.”

With that the show began. Apple started by unveiling the next upgrades for its coveted iPod and iPhone lines.

“Rumors of the iPod’s Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated.” 
The iPod launched 10 years ago. iTunes and the iPod have “revolutionized” the music industry, Cook said. Apple sold 45 million iPods last year alone. Sixteen billion song downloads have been served up to people all over the globe. According to Apple, the company is “very happy with the music business.” So Apple, most of all, must be surprised by the recent rumor that Apple might kill the iPod.

Instead, Apple said, it updated some apps. For example, the little tiny postage stamp touchscreen device called the iPod Nano. People use it for exercise, so Apple improved the pedometer software to keep records of your running and walking. Apple also built a “watch” app so you can wear your iPod Nano like a wristwatch. iPod Nano now sells for $129 for 8GB or $149 for 16GB.

Meanwhile, the best-selling iPod Touch will get iMessage for texting (via iOS5). At $229 for 8GB, it’s $30 cheaper. (32GB for $299, 64GB for $399, but no new hardware was discussed). iPods, like the iPhone and iPad, are powered by the iOS, and Apple took that opportunity to talk about…

iOS 5
Packed with amazing new features, Apple’s iOS 5 could be the best iOS upgrade to date. There are lots of new features: Notifications upgrades, which now allows you to see a message dashboard from the lock screen.


Reminders, iMessage and more are all a part of iOS5 and iPhone 4S. 

iMessage is text messaging app for Apple users. No more carrier texting fee; you can send photos, video and more using iMessage. While Reminders is an advanced to-do list that can remind you to perform tasks based on where you are, such as popping up a message when you get to work or home. iOS5 will be available on October 12th.

They also talked iPads, and about how 250 million iOS devices have been sold, but we came to hear about the iPhone and after about a half hour, Apple got to the point.


This was the first Apple media event in more than a decade that Steve Jobs wasn’t hosting.

Let’s Talk iPhone
The iPhone 4 has made up for more than one-half of all the iPhones sold since Apple introduced the iPhone, and according to Apple, the company is “pummeling the competition,” and growing the installed base faster than any other smartphones. ”People have been wondering, how do you follow up a hit product like the iPhone 4,” and with that, Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S. Like Apple did with the iPhone 3, instead of leapfrogging the popular iPhone 4, they’ve added an S to the name. The “S” stands for speed.

The S Stands for Speed
The new iPhone 4S is powered by the A5 chip (which features 7x faster graphics for games) is twice as fast as the A4 chip in the current iPhone 4. The iPhone 4S features better battery life too, with 8 hours of talk time, or 40 hours of listening to music. The iPhone 4S has an “intelligently switch” wireless system that can swap between its two antennas for “even better call quality.” Data download data is also faster — using HSDPA cellular technology. In short, Apple is selling the iPhone 4S as a 4G-like phone. Note, though, that the iPhone4S is NOT technically a 4G phone.

New Camera
In recent months, Apple has also taken hits about the quality of camera in the iPhone 4. Apple’s Phil Schiller spoke directly to that point: ”Here we’ve really gone overboard,” he said. The iPhone 4S will have more accurate colors, a “five-element lens” with an f/2.4 aperture (which is much better for low-light situations), all delivered by an 8-megapixel camera. That’s 3264 x 2448 resolution, or 60 percent more pixels than the current iPhone 4. The 4S’s sensor is better, too.


Apple provided a little competitive analysis too: Droid Bionic 3.7 seconds to take a picture. iPhone 4S: 1.1 seconds.

“Can You Hear Me Now?” 
Possibly the coolest thing tech writers heard today, though, was the female voice of Siri, the voice control system for the iPhone 4S. While still in beta, the demo of the technology shown was nothing short of amazing. Holding down the Home button activates Siri, and you prompt her simply by using your voice:

“What is the weather like today?” you ask.

Siri pleasantly responds: “Here’s today’s weather,” and then the phone displays the weather forecast.

“Do I need a raincoat today?” you ask.

Siri agrees you might: “It sure looks like rain today.”

“Find me a great Greek restaurant in Palo Alto,” you request.

Siri instantly responds: “I’ve found 14 Greek restaurants…5 in Palo Alto.”

In addition to finding restaurants and scheduling lunch meetings (Yelp is partnered with Apple to provide restaurant reviews in Siri), Siri can read text messages, act as a calculator and is apparently fluent in French and German.

No iPhone 5? iPhone 4S 
Regarding the recent news and rumors, Apple did not release any details on the iPhone 5 or provide any information regarding Sprint’s recent deal to buy iPhones and be an iPhone carrier.  Apple did disappoint on several fronts, but nonetheless, the announcements made today will still make the Apple iPhone the most talked-about smartphone this year. The iPhone 4S will be available in 16Gb for $199, or with 32GB for $299 or 64GB for $399. (This is the first time Apple’s offered 64GB storage for iPhone.) iPhone 4S goes on sale Oct. 14th. Pre-orders begin Oct. 7th.

Update: iPhone 4 now cost $99 for 8 GB; the 8GB iPhone 3GS will be free – all phones require a two-year service contract requirement.

It’s a great time to learn app development for Apple iDevices, like the iPhone 4S. Who knows? If you start now, your app could be ready for the release of the iPhone 5.

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posted by DMA Newswire in iPhone News & Tips,News Blog and have No Comments

Apple’s iPhone 5 Versus Android Smartphone: Which is Better?

Apple is the most recognized brand in the world; Apple’s products, specifically the iPhone, are in high demand. And yet, Android phones have started outselling iPhones in the U.S., according to comScore. Why? Google’s widely distributed Android OS rules the smartphone platform. Several different providers offer several different types of service, alongside Android phones that are offered at many different price points. While Apple selects its providers, and only Apple makes the iPhone.


Apple and Android face off in the Smartphone Wars.

That’s why analysts expect Apple to release more than one type of iPhone to address the problem of market share, making the iPhone even more accessible. In addition to the iPhone 5, Apple is expected to release a cheaper iPhone 4, too.

Possible iPhone 5 features:

  • Memory. More memory, possibly 1GB of memory, which is twice the amount currently offered in the iPhone 4.
  • Higher-resolution. 8-megapixel (the current phones have 5 megapixel’s worth).
  • Near-Field Communication (NFC). Use your Google Wallet.
  • Voice Control. Call home using voice navigation.
  • Graphics. Improved and similar to the graphics silicon used in the iPad 2. Imagination’s PowerVR SGX543.
  • Dual-core Apple A5 chip. A boost in processing performance.
  • 3G. A Qualcomm chipset is expected that supports both CDMA and GSM networks.
  • 4G. Via HSPA+.
  • iCloud. Synching the phone might also be done through Apple’s cloud service.
  • iOS 5. New iOS with iMessage, tabbed browsing and lots more.

 
In addition to the Apple App Store, iTunes and whole host of features, the iPhone has 200 of them powering iOS 5. Also expect the introduction of iCloud to play a part.


A computer-generated graphic of the iPhone 5. 

Everyone wants an iPhone, including T-Mobile customers. CEO Cole Brodman recently shared his disappointment in a letter that explained the company hadn’t been selected as an iPhone provider yet. The Chief Marketing Officer for T-Mobile explained his own frustration with Apple and knew the announcement would make customers unhappy.

Droid Does 
The Android OS and droid phones support 4G. A phone like the Samsung Galaxy S 2 has an incredibly vivid and larger display than the iPhone. Droid phones also have great features. The Motorola Droid Bionic has a dual-core Texas Instruments’ OMAP4 processor. It has proved to be a very popular phone in its own right. While both Apple and Android phones support streaming video and audio apps like Hulu, Netflix and Pandora, Droid phones have better audio output and larger displays than iPhone.

App and game development for Google Android devices has certainly become increasingly popular with more games and apps being released ever day. Still, Apple’s App Store and iTunes are well established, offer more apps, games and overall content and are loved by millions.

Some tech-savvy users might say they want the display and many phone options of the Android platform, while having the support and use of Apple’s App Store and iTunes. Unfortunately, you can’t have both. iPhones and their apps integrate with other Apple devices. For that reason and a few others (including iTunes), for the moment, we’ll hold onto our iPhones and remain in line for the iPhone 5.

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posted by Vince Matthews in Apple,News Blog and have No Comments