As was reported Wednesday, GT Advanced Technologies has now officially announced that it has reached a settlement agreement with Apple. The announcement reveals GT will retain ownership of its production, ancillary, and inventory assets in Mesa, Arizona. GT will also be given four years interest-free to repay Apple $439 million – money that the company will earn by selling its sapphire furnaces. Although GT is leaving the sapphire production business, the company and Apple will “continue their technical exchange involving the development of processes for growing next generation sapphire boules.”
Our initial look at the iPad Air 2 reveals that Apple is bundling a 10W/2.1A power adapter with its newest iPad model – a step back down from the 12W/2.4A unit that has been included with the last two generations of full-sized iPad models. While a 10W power adapter would theoretically require longer charging times, iFixit’s recent teardown confirmed that the iPad Air 2 contains a smaller battery than its predecessor, suggesting a possible justification for the lower-powered adapter. It remains to be seen how much of a practical impact this will have, if any, in real-world use; the Air 2 may not charge any faster with the more powerful adapter.
Olloclip has introduced its new 4-in-1 lens system for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus ($80), with a new design that works with both the front and rear camera. The package includes fisheye, wide-angle, macro 10X and macro 16X lenses, along with three wearable pendants for carrying the lenses. The Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is available in five lens and clip color combinations. It can be pre-ordered from Olloclip’s web site and is expected to ship in late November.
iStabilizer's tabArm ($100) is an articulating arm mount system that can hold any iPad or iPad mini, including the newest iPad Air 2. The total tabArm package includes iStabilizer's tabMount, Clamp, a hot shoe adapter, and an 11" stainless steel articulating arm with a single point locking mechanism. Using the included clamp, the arm can be mounted on ledges or other fixtures. The tabMount expands enough to accommodate many iPad and iPad mini cases, as well. And though it's not specifically recommended, we found the mount can also hold an iPhone 6 Plus.
iFixit has posted its complete teardown of the iPad Air 2, revealing some new details and confirming most of the specs. The article notes that Apple has revised a lot of the hardware from last year’s iPad Air, including: a fully laminated 9.7” IPS multi-touch LCD with 2,048 x 1,536 resolution at 264 ppi and an anti-reflective coating, the expected A8X 64-bit CPU with 2GB RAM and the M8 motion coprocessor, the 8MP rear iSight camera, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and the new Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The iPad Air 2 also gets the barometric pressure sensor added to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The battery is located below the logic board, and this year’s model packs a reduced-capacity 27.62 Wh package, down from the previous 32.9 Wh capacity. Although Apple’s claims of the same 10-hour battery life suggest more efficient power use, it remains to be seen whether this will be the case in practice.
The new Touch ID sensor design closely resembles the sensors found on the new iPhone models, using an NXP chipset. The camera was noted to be different from the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus version, but is also described as a “leap in quality” over the original iPad Air. The main logic board is also glued into the case, with the Lightning connector soldered on, making replacement or repair of the Lightning port a more difficult task. iFixit summarized its report by giving the iPad Air 2 a very low repairability score, due to everything basically being glued together and the fragility of the front display assembly.
Today in iLounge Deals we’re offering up a three-year subscription to a VPN Unlimited Premium Plan for only $19—that’s 70% off the normal price. VPN Unlimited provides users with access to a secure virtual private network (VPN) which is ideal for securing traffic when surfing from public Wi-Fi access points. Through VPN Unlimited, you can connect to any website anywhere that you have Internet access, bypassing restricted web content and protecting your data from hackers or identity thieves lurking on insecure public Wi-Fi networks. You can even connect to a VPN Unlimited server in the country of your choice to bypass international content restrictions and access local web sites—particularly useful when you’re travelling internationally and want to access geographically restricted sites.
Only two days into its rollout, some Apple Pay users are already reporting a problem with the service. Some Bank of America customers have seen two charges for the same purchase on their credit card statements after using Apple Pay to make transactions, as reported by CNN. The issue is said to be affecting “hundreds of customers.” A Bank of America representative told CNN that the issue was on Apple Pay’s end, but the bank was ultimately able to refund the money after some back-and-forth between Apple and bank representatives. A fix for the problem is expected to be released at some point today.
The Wi-Fi version of the new iPad Air 2 ($499-$829) officially arrived in stores today, and as expected, it has simultaneously reduced the thickness and increased the power of Apple's full-sized iconic tablet. An 18% reduction in thickness was achieved by bonding the new Air's screen directly to its now anti-reflective front glass, as well as by shrinking the battery inside -- enough to drop the run time from last year's model. Apple has updated both the front and rear cameras, the former only to increase light sensitivity and the latter to an 8-Megapixel module that's roughly comparable to the iPhone 5s in performance. Touch ID has been added to the device, along with improved 802.11ac and faster, broader LTE support (in cellular versions), though unlike the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, there's no NFC hardware inside the Air 2. For the first time, the new tablet comes in gold with a white face, as well as silver with white and a light space gray with black. It continues be sold in Wi-Fi ($499-$699) and Wi-Fi + Cellular ($629-$829) versions, in your choice of 16GB, 64GB, or 128GB capacities. Look for our comprehensive review in the near future. With photos by Phil Dzikiy.
iLounge has posted an unboxing gallery for Apple’s new iPad Air 2. In a full photo gallery, we take a closer look at both devices, along with comparison photos.
More pictures will be added as the day progresses, and be sure to check back for our full review of both new models coming soon.
In today’s bonus iLounge Deal you can also grab The Camera Lens Mug for only $19.99—60% off the normal price. Carry your favourite beverages in style with this cool and unique mug that also features an extended heat preservation system to keep your hot beverages steaming for hours. The mug features a comfortable rubber shell for easy gripping and stainless steel lining with a unique lens influenced design that also makes an awesome hiding spot for your favourite beverage, easily blending into the rest of your accessories.