Apple has posted its first TV advertisement for the third-generation iPad. Entitled “This Good”, the 30-second spot shows the device being used against a white background, while a narrator states, “When a screen becomes this good, colors are more vibrant, words are pin sharp, everything is more brilliant. Because when a screen becomes this good, it’s simply you and the things you care about. The stunning Retina display on the new iPad.” The ad is now available for viewing on Apple’s website.
In conjunction with today’s announcement of the third-generation iPad, Apple has introduced its new AppleCare+ protection plan for iPad. As with the same plan for the iPhone, the new AppleCare+ for iPad extends both warranty coverage and phone support for the device to two years—normally limited to one year and 90 days, respectively. In addition, the plan adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage for the same $49 service fee as seen on the iPhone. AppleCare+ for the iPad sells for $99 and must be purchased within 30 days of the purchase of the iPad.
Apple today released Apple TV Software Update 5.0, the latest update for its second-generation set-top box. The new update introduces a significantly redesigned user interface for the main menu. Apple has yet to update its Support page with details on 5.0 so it is unclear exactly what other improvements have been made in this latest update. Apple TV Software Update 5.0 is available now via the Update Software option in the device’s General Settings menu.
Update: According to Apple’s release notes, the latest update also includes support for Movie purchases in iCloud where availalbe, Genius Recommendations for content on the iTunes Store, new built-in screensaver photos from National Geographic and on-device sign-up for content partners on Apple TV using an Apple ID.
Following today’s iPad event, Apple has released iTunes 10.6, the latest version of its digital media management software. According to the release notes, iTunes 10.6 adds the ability to play 1080p HD movies and TV shows from the iTunes Store and adds a number of improvements for iTunes Match including improved song matching, album artwork handling, downloading and display. As with all new Apple media hardware, iTunes 10.6 will also be the minimum requirement for syncing the new third-generation iPad and new third-generation Apple TV announced at today’s event. iTunes 10.6 is available now as a free download from apple.com/itunes and should be available via the company’s Software Update utility later today.
As predicted by a third-party developer, Apple has raised its download limit for media acquired over a 3G connection to 50MB. The prior ceiling was 20Mb, leaving little headroom for developers looking to take full advantage of the third-generation iPad’s increased resolution. The new limit is now in place, for the iPad as well as the iPhone and iPod touch.
Apple has now posted a streaming video of its latest special media event, at which it announced the third-generation Apple TV and third-generation iPad. The video is just over 85 minutes long, and includes demonstrations of the new Apple TV interface, as well as iPhoto for iOS, and Infinity Blade: Dungeons. The video is available for viewing now from Apple’s website.
Following today’s iPad event, Apple has released iOS 5.1 for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. According to the release notes, the new version adds Japanese language support for Siri and the ability to delete photos from the Photo Stream. Additionally, the Camera shortcut is now always visible on the lock screen for the iPHone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and fourth-generation iPod touch and improvements have been made to camera face detection to highlight all detected faced. The update also includes a redesigned Camera app for the iPad and adds support for Genius Mixes and Genius playlists for iTunes Match subscribers. Several other optimizations and bug fixes are noted including improvements to audio for TV shows and movies on the iPad, podcast controls for playback speed and skip back on the iPad as well as an updated AT&T network indicator and fixes for issues relating to battery life and audio dropouts on outgoing calls. iOS 5.1 is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad, iPad 2, third-generation iPod touch, and fourth-generation iPod touch, and is available now via the update feature in iTunes or as an over-the-air update. To update your iOS device over-the-air, open Settings, tap on General, and tap on Software Update.
Apple has posted its tech specs for the third-generation iPad, revealing a number of unspoken features and limitations. The page reveals that the new iPad boasts Bluetooth 4.0 support, as well as a considerably larger 42.5-watt-hour battery. The previous limitation of 720p AirPlay Mirroring remains—even when using the new device with the upgraded third-generation Apple TV announced today—but the new iPad is capable of streaming AirPlay video at full 1080p resolution. As in the past, the Wi-Fi version of the iPad lacks GPS hardware, while the newly-named Wi-Fi + 4G does not. Finally, the new model is slightly heavier than the iPad 2, with Wi-Fi models weighing in at 1.44 lbs. and 4G units weighing 1.46 lbs., compared to 1.33 to 1.35 lbs., respectively, for the iPad 2.
Alongside the announcement of third-generation iPad and Apple TV hardware, Apple today announced that it was dropping the price of the base iPad 2 model to $399. The 16GB version will continue to be sold in black and white alongside the third-generation iPad—referred to by the company as “The new iPad”—which will assume the prior iPad 2 price points of $499-$699 for Wi-Fi-only models and $629-$829 for 4G-enabled units. Apple did not indicate that it would continue to sell Wi-Fi + 3G iPad 2 units, but will likely have some supply available at a modest discount until supplies run out.
During today’s iPad event in San Francisco, Apple also took the wraps off iPhoto for iPad, the latest iOS app in the company’s iLife suite. Described as the “reinvention” of iPhoto, the new app provides new and expanded photo browsing and editing capabilities directly on the iPad with a smarter photo browsing interface, advanced multi-touch editing features and professional quality effects. A new Photo Beaming feature also allows users to easily transfer photos directly between different devices.
During the presentation, Apple demonstrated several additional advanced features including the ability to automatically find and compare similar pictures simply by double-tapping on a photo, browsing photos via intuitive multi-touch gestures and sophisticated editing and auto-enhancement features. The app supports photo resolutions up to 19 megapixels and includes the ability to flag and collect photos and them share them easily via e-mail, Flickr, Twitter and other services. Users can also create Photo Journals to collect their favourite pictures into themed template pages that can also include related information such as calendar dates, maps and weather. iPhoto for iOS is $5 and is expected to be available on the App Store later today.
Apple updated a handful of its iOS apps today alongside the introduction of the new iPad. The iWork suite—Pages, Numbers, and Keynote—have received unspecified updates while GarageBand now features Smart Strings, Note Editor, iCloud syncing, and sharing over multiple devices. The new iMovie adds outlining and storyboarding features, along with the ability to record video with the new iPad’s 1080p rear camera. All of the updates are free, and available today.
At today’s new iPad launch event, Epic Games unveiled its newest iOS title, Infinity Blade: Dungeons. A followup to Infinity Blade and Infinity Blade II, Dungeons puts players on a quest to craft the ultimate weapon—the Infinity Blade. The game builds on the swipe-to-attack fighting mechanic, and allows for chain attacks within a 3/4 perspective Gauntlet-style environment, rather than the first-person perspective of prior Infinity Blade titles. Epic noted that the new iPad has more memory and higher screen resolution than an Xbox 360 or PS3. Infinity Blade: Dungeons is coming soon.
Alongside the new iPad’s introduction, Autodesk announced its newest app, SketchBook Ink. The company started by noting that it’s reached tens of millions of iOS users in just two years, compared to the 29 years it took to reach that number on the desktop. SketchBook Ink focuses on line art, and takes advantage of the iPad’s new A5X processor. The app is capable of exporting images greater than 100 megapixels. It’ll be available in April, exclusively for iOS.
During Apple’s iPad event today, Namco unveiled its new flight simulation game, Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy. The game puts players in the cockpit of a jet fighter, and is optimized to take advantage of the new iPad’s Retina display and A5X processor, with Namco calling it “console-quality.” Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy will be exclusive to iOS, and launch later this month.
Apple today announced its third-generation iPad. As expected, the third-generation tablet features a 2048 x 1536 “Retina” display—for a total of 3.1 million pixels—and is powered by the new dual-core A5X processor with a quad-core graphics processor. According to the company, the new processor was “designed for Retina display”, and offers “four times the performance” of the Tegra 3 processor. Also new is a five-megapixel, backside-illuminated rear “iSight” camera sensor, with an IR filter, autofocus and auto white balance, face detection, 1080p video recording, and automatic video stabilization. Other new features include voice dictation, with support for US, British, and Australian English, French, German, and Japanese, 4G LTE networking, 10 hours of battery life, and a body that is slightly heavier at 1.4 lbs., and—as first reported by iLounge—slightly thicker at 9.4mm, compared to 8.8mm for the previous model.
Models equipped with wireless data now support 3.1 Mbps over EV-DO, 7.2 Mbps over HSPA, 21 Mbps on HSPA+, 42 Mbps over DC-HSDPA, and 73 Mbps over LTE networks; the latter will be supported at launch by Verizon, Rogers, Bell, Telus, and AT&T. Thanks to its faster internet connection, the iPad can now serve as a personal hotspot if the carrier supports it. The new iPad will keep the same pricing and capacities as previous models, with Wi-Fi-only units running $499 for 16GB, $599 for 32GB, and $699 for 64GB; 4G-capable units will cost $629, $729, and $829, respectively. Apple will begin taking pre-orders for the device today, with units shipping on March 16 in the United States, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia. More international rollouts will follow on March 23 in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.
During Apple’s iPad event today the company announced that it would officially be rolling out Siri to users in Japan as part of its iOS 5.1 update. Siri is expected to be available in Japan “over the next few weeks.”
During it’s iPad event today in San Francisco, Apple announced the expansion of its iTunes in the Cloud service to include Movies from the iTunes Store. Originally launched last June, iTunes in the Cloud allows iTunes users to re-download previously purchased music, books, apps and TV shows to their iTunes library or any iOS device. The service was initially released in the U.S. and later expanded to several other countries late last year, initially for music and later for TV shows as well. The second-generation Apple TV received the ability to stream TV shows from iTunes in the Cloud last summer; although it is not clear whether support for Movies will be included in a coming Apple TV software update or will be exclusive to the third-generation Apple TV also announced today. Apple has also not yet been announced in which countries Movies will be available from iTunes in the Cloud.
Update: The feature has now been activated for U.S. iTunes Store accounts, allowing users to re-download previously purchased movies from the Purchases section of the iTunes Store.
During this morning’s special media event, Apple announced its third-generation Apple TV. While retaining the design of the prior model, the new Apple TV offers support for 1080p video output, and also offers a redesigned user interface with larger, app-like buttons for accessing content, and a single-core variant of the A5 processor. As part of the new 1080p support, Apple is updating its TV show and movie offerings with higher-resolution copies, and is also rolling out iTunes in the Cloud support for movies, giving the new Apple TV access to 1080p content stored online, instead of on a local computer. The third-generation Apple TV also retains the $99 price point of its predecessor, and is available for pre-order today with units shipping March 16.
This week’s featured photo is from our iPads Around the World gallery, and shows a black iPad 2 in front of a rocket at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. To share your photos and to be considered for our Photo of the Week, you simply need to submit your own photo to one of our galleries. So get out there, take some pictures featuring your favorite iPod, iPad, or iPhone and maybe your submission will be our next Photo of the Week!
iLounge will be providing live coverage of Apple’s special media event, beginning today at 1:00 PM Eastern Time/10:00 AM Pacific Time. At the event, Apple is expected to announce its third-generation iPad, and possibly a third-generation Apple TV unit. You’ll be able to find all our updates on the main iLounge.com home page—so check back early and often!
Pre-Event Updates: An oft-reliable source for 9to5Mac confirms that “iPad Wi-Fi 4G” units are now beginning to show up in Apple’s inventory system in 16GB to 64GB capacities, alongside an updated version of the $39 Apple Digital AV Adapter.
Click through to the full version of this story for updates during the event.