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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

What Did Apple Announce at WWDC? A Guide to iOS 6

This week in scenic San Francisco, Apple is wowing both companies and developers that make software and apps for Apple’s various platforms at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).


Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook gave WWCD’s keynote address on Monday. This was the first time WWDC was not addressed by Steve Jobs.

It’s a conference that often telegraphs Apple’s game plan for the rest of the year. In the past, the conference has been the forum where two iPhones and various Macs have been introduced. On Monday morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage, giving the conference’s keynote address.

Numbers Game
Cook started his Monday morning keynote by dazzling the crowd with some spectacular numbers:

  • Apple largely owns the digital marketplace. Apple has paid out an estimated $5 billion to app developers since the App Store was started just four years ago.
  • There are now more than 66,000 apps, resulting in more than 30 billion downloaded apps.
  • Some 400 million consumers have their credit card information on file with Apple.

One of today’s major announcements involved Apple’s latest iOS (the iOS is what developers use to make apps for the iPad or iPhone). In a nutshell, the iOS powers Apple iDevices…and it’s about to change dramatically:

Driving Developments
For years, Google Maps has been the default mapping app for Apples iDevices, but that’s about to change. Apple’s iOS 6 will introduce its own tweaked-up version of Maps, and it promises to offer some capabilities that Google Maps can’t match. This includes turn-by-turn navigation, voiced by Siri, Apple’s personal assistant program.


Apple’s new Maps app will help you find your way.

Not only will Siri guide drivers to their destinations, she’ll also provide estimated trip times, and when the speed limit changes. If traffic slows (because of an accident or other event), she’ll  suggest an alternate route. Siri will also help you find gas. Finally, the new Maps app will feature a photographic 3D view of numerous cities called “Flyover,” in addition to offering a traffic view so you can visually plan the best route for your drive.

Siri-ous Improvements
Siri will be updated with iOS 6, too – and she’ll be featured on the new iPad. For most users, the biggest improvement will be the ability to launch apps with a single voice command, which many users have been vocal about desiring. Siri will also be given a new “Eyes Free” mode that will work in conjunction with your car by simply pressing a button on your steering wheel. (To make this a reality, Apple is already partnering with numerous auto manufacturers, including Toyota, Honda, GM, Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz.)

And not only will Siri become more convenient to access; the program will become smarter and know more about a wider range of subjects. For example, if you’re looking for sports scores and schedules (and even stats), Siri can now be your go-to expert. The same applies to other entertainment, such as movies (with Siri able to serve up reviews, showtimes and trailers).

And when it comes to grabbing a bite to eat after a game or before a movie, Siri will have you covered there, too. The personal assistant will soon be able to give you a sneak peek at restaurant menus and even help you make dinner reservations.


Attendees are flocking this week to San Francisco’s Moscone Center (West) from around the world. The conference will last through Friday. 

Social Affairs
It’s a social-media world, a fact not lost on Apple. So iOS 6 will fully integrate Facebook, just as iOS 5 brought system integration for Twitter users. With iOS 6, once you log into your Facebook account from the Settings app, you can remain logged in…even if you open different apps, and (here’s the best part) you won’t be required to log in multiple times.

With this new integration, Facebook events will appear in the Calendar app. And let’s say you use both Facebook and Twitter. With iOS 6, both social media sites will be included within the notification dropdown. So if you need to post a new status, you can do it once in this location and the change will be made to both the Facebook and Twitter accounts. iOS 6 enables all of these improvements, not to mention the ability to post photos and preferred apps directly to Facebook.

“Pass Go” with Passbook
iOS 6 will feature a new app called “Passbook.” It works like Google Wallet. Passbook stores a wide variety of items (such as movie tickets, gift cards and airline tickets) in one convenient app. Passbook works in conjunction with the notification center, helpfully reminding you if you arrive at a location where you might be able to use one of the items stored in the app.

Silence-is-Golden 
Another improvement? A “Do Not Disturb” feature for iPhones that keeps things on the down-low. Don’t worry; you’ll still receive notifications when they come but you just won’t have to hear about each and every one of them.


The Do Not Disturb feature lets you customize interruptions, such as when to activate and who to accept calls from.

Making the “VIP” List
The new iOS also gives you a way to prioritize the Mail app with special instructions based on the names of your inner-posse members. By accessing the “VIPs” feature, you’ll be able to receive special notification when you receive messages from those you’re tight with. The feature will also let you batch all incoming messages from the crew with a single tap. Mail will now let users add pix and flix to message, as well as view marked messages.

Setting the Pace
The announcements made at Apple’s WWDC often have a global impact, and influence the world of personal computing for the next year. Coming up in Part Two: We look at new changes coming to the MacBook line.

Are you ready to learn app development for the iPhone and iPad? We are! iOS makes the world’s coolest gadgets even cooler!

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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 Phill in iPhone News & Tips,News Blog and have No Comments

iPhone 5 Concept Video & Possible Features

In less than 24 hours, we’ll all know what Apple’s iPhone division has been up to with the latest iPhone. This will be the first time in 20 years that Apple has introduced a product without Steve Jobs – although some have rumored Jobs may make an appearance, everyone’s really looking for the next iPhone (or iPhones).


Voice control is rumored to be a possible feature on the iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S.

That’s right – Apple may release two phones. In addition to the iPhone 5, a second phone would be cheaper and have less storage capacity. Some analysts are referring to it as the iCloud Phone. Apple’s new cloud-computing services could be a direct tie-in.

Let’s Talk iPhone
Apple still hasn’t released the tech specs on their next phone. Nonetheless, industry insiders, Apple patent detectives, newshounds tracking the lost iPhone in Bay Area bars and analysts have given the following rumors (and possible features) a bit more attention:

 
We’re not exactly sure what to expect but we do know we’ll get an upgrade to an already amazing phone. Apple has continued to revolutionize the smartphone industry. Fans and industry investors alike are eager to get their hands on Apple’s new iPhone. Here’s a concept video from a film producer and phone fan:

If only the new iPhone could perform these futuristic tricks. The future’s not that far off.

We’ll find out about Apple’s announcement on Tuesday at 10 AM (PT). Apple will host the iPhone launch event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California.

For Apple, the world’s most valuable company, it’s the company’s first product announcement under new CEO, Tim Cook. The big question surrounding the announcement: Who will take center stage at the event? Everyone, from Apple to the App developer, is waiting to find out.

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