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Apple posts first TV ad for third-gen iPad

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.

Apple intros AppleCare+ for iPad

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 boosts 3G download limit to 50MB

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 posts video of iPad, Apple TV event

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.

 

Apple releases iOS 5.1 for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

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.

New iPad: battery jumps, Bluetooth 4 added, AirPlay 720p mirroring remains

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.

Apple drops price of the iPad 2 to $399

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.

Apple announces iPhoto for iOS

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 announces third-generation iPad with Retina display

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.

Galaxy on Fire 2 HD adds Valkyrie HD Expansion

Fishlabs has released the much-anticipated update to Galaxy on Fire 2 HD adding support for the Valkyrie HD expansion pack. Released last fall, Galaxy on Fire 2 HD is an enhanced version of the popular original Galaxy on Fire 2 that has been optimized to take full advantage of the improved graphic capabilities of the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 along with support for synchronizing saved games via iCloud. The latest update brings the Valkyrie expansion pack to Galaxy on Fire 2 HD adding enhanced 3D models, console-quality visuals and increased textures, resolutions and effects to the original expansion.

The expansion continues the storyline of Keith T. Maxwell’s galactic adventures as he now attempts to unravel a conspiracy orchestrated by a mysterious and cunning new enemy. The new add-on provides new spaceships, weapons and equipment along with nine new planets across four solar systems and a new black market trading system. Users can also now purchase their own space station, the Kaamo Club, in order to store additional spaceships and valuable goods. Galaxy on Fire 2 HD is available from the App Store for $10 and is compatible with the iPhone 3GS/4/4S, third- or fourth-generation iPod touch or iPad, although the enhanced graphics are only available on the iPhone 4S and iPad 2. The Valkyrie HD expansion is available as an in-app purchase for $5; users with the original Galaxy on Fire 2 standard edition installed on their device will receive the Valkyrie HD expansion for free when first opening the new version.

Apple offering settlements to Motorola, Samsung

Apple has proposed settlements to both Motorola Mobility and Samsung in an effort to end some pending litigation, Dow Jones Newswires reports. Citing people familiar with the matter, the report claims that Apple has asked for roughly 1 percent to 2.5 percent of net sales per device, or between $5 and $15 per handset. One person said that Apple isn’t looking to offer patent licenses to all competitors, nor is it seeking to create a royalty business. The report also suggests that Apple may be using its own patents as bargaining chips to reduce any penalties it might face as a result of negative court rulings related to standards-essential patents held by the two companies.

Russia reclassifies iPad as PC, drops 5% import tax

Russia’s Federal Customs Service has dropped the 5 percent import tax previously levied upon the iPad by changing the device’s classification from a “navigator” to a personal computer, according to a new report. Citing Russian language Vedomosti (Translated Link), AppleInsider reports the change was made due to the fact that 3G-equipped iPads include GPS hardware, while Wi-Fi-only models do not. The original article did not state whether the new policy draws a distinction between iPad models with GPS and those without, although the Customs Service did say that “other” tablets with GPS would still be classified as navigation devices and will thus be subject to the tax. The iPad 2 launched in Russia in May 2011.

ABC Family launches universal iOS app

ABC Family has launched a universal iOS app providing full, on-demand access to ABC Family television content on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Developed by the same team responsible for the ABC Player app, the new ABC Family app is designed to provide viewers with convenient and timely on-the-go access to the network’s popular content with free, ad-supported episodes form a variety of original series including Jane By Design, Make It or Break It, Switched at Birth, and The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

New episodes will typically be available via the app the day after airing on the television network—at the same time as they are posted online at ABCFamily.com. Links are also provided within the app to allow users to purchase and download their favourite episodes directly from the iTunes Store. The universal ABC Family app also provides some additional unique features such as the ability save playback positions within an episode across multiple iOS devices; the app is also the first from the Disney/ABC Television Group to support closed captioning. ABC Family requires iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download. Video streaming is available only to users physically located in the United States and its territories.

Next iPad available March 16, second event planned?

Apple will launch its next-generation iPad on March 16, according to a new report. Citing a reliable Apple Store source, 9to5Mac reports that preparations are being made for a large Apple Store event culminating on Friday, March 16, which suggests that Apple plans to make the third-generation tablet available on that date. Apple is said to be planning two notable Apple Store openings for that day, and Verizon Wireless has also started teasing an upcoming product or announcement with a “Something is Coming” message on its website. In addition, the report states that there is expected to be a “subsequent event” a week later, which could represent the launch of a revamped Apple TV, or additional international launches of the iPad.

Melcher Media releases Monty Python: The Holy Book of Days

Melcher Media, creators of the bestselling interactive book app Al Gore: Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis, have released a new iPad app for Monty Python fans, Monty Python: The Holy Book of Days. Released in conjunction with the Blu-ray debut of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the interactive app provides a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of the troupe’s second feature film. Melcher Media worked with John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin to provide an immersive experience for Python enthusiasts as the group takes fans along on their foolhardy quest to make an epic film in just 28 days.

Monty Python: The Holy Book of Days includes an exclusive collection of previously unreleased outtakes, rehearsals, raw audio recordings, songs, sound effects, scripts, dozens of stills and more, while also adding new illustrations, animations and the story of the filming told in the Pythons’ own words. Packed with Python history, the app includes content such as Michael Palin’s day-by-day diary of the filming, Terry Gilliam’s storyboards, the original continuity sheets covering every shot and 360-degree views of actual props and costumes from the movie.

In addition the app can also function as a rich second screen companion when used in conjunction with the new Blu-ray version of the film. Using a supported Blu-ray player synced via Wi-Fi the iPad can be used as a remote control to jump to the specific scenes in the movie that users are browsing through and reading about in the app. For a limited time, Sony is also offering a $5 mail-in rebate when consumers purchase both the Blu-ray and iPad app. Monty Python: The Holy Book of Days requires iOS 4.3 or later and is available from the App Store for $5.

Next-gen iPad to be named ‘iPad HD’?

Apple will not call the next-generation iPad the iPad 3 as many had expected, according to a new report. Citing a developer who’s previously provided reliable information, Cnet reports that Apple will instead use the moniker iPad HD, calling deliberate attention to the device’s high-resolution screen. A separate report from Gizmodo, posted last week, included an alleged list of upcoming cases from Griffin Technology listed as being for the iPad HD, and the name has been seen in application usage reports, as well. The report goes on to note that both the iPadHD.com and iPadHD.co.uk domains appear to be registered by companies other than Apple; Apple is expected to unveil its next-generation iPad at a special media event being held tomorrow in San Francisco.

iPad 3 shipments affecting China to US air freight rates

Two separate reports have indicated that massive shipments of next-generation iPad units from China to the United States have resulted in price hikes and reduced capacity for air freight carriers. Citing an anonymous source, AppleInsider reports that the price of shipping air cargo from China to the U.S. via DHL have seen a “big change” as Apple has taken up capacity on such flights for iPad units. In a separate report, MacRumors cites a shipping representative as saying that shipping rates have risen as much as 20 percent in a single week; the representative added that his freight broker in China has had trouble finding space for his company’s shipments, as Apple has taken up available capacity, and done so at “premium rates”. Both reports note that the timing and quantity of the shipments suggests that Apple plans to launch the next-generation iPad soon after its expected introduction on Wednesday.

US Air Force to buy as many as 18,000 iPads

The U.S. Air Force has awarded a $9.36 million contract to a Phoenix-based computer services company which will use the money to purchase as many as 18,000 iPad 2 units. Bloomberg reports that the Air Force is purchasing 32GB Wi-Fi models, which will be used as replacements for paper manuals and navigation charts used by pilots and navigators. “Aircrews fly nonstop worldwide missions and require access to flight publications both on and off the aircraft, throughout all phases of flight,” said military spokeswoman Captain Kathleen Ferrero. The contract allows for the purchase of as many as 18,000 units within the next year, although the final total will be “contingent upon funding requests and approval”.

Hi-res iPads running iOS 6 appear in server logs

iPad models sporting a resolution of 2048 x 1536 have been spotted in the server logs of a notable website. Ars Technica reports that while doing research for its monthly browser that report, it found multiple hits from devices reported to be running iOS 6, with a newer build of WebKit—535.8—than the current version, which is listed as 534.46. In addition, it found 346 visits from a device with a screen resolution of 2048 x 1536, widely believed to be the resolution of the next-generation iPad’s Retina display. As noted in the report, very few devices in current use have the same resolution. Apple is expected to unveil the next-generation iPad on March 7; iOS 6 is unlikely for a release on that date, and while a brief preview is possible, Apple last year waited until its WWDC conference to unveil iOS 5.

Flipboard adds Cover Stories for iPad, International Content Guides

Flipboard has released an update to its iOS news and social media aggregation app adding support for Cover Stories in the iPad edition and improving discovery for international users. Designed to provide users with a personalized collection of their news and social feeds, Flipboard collects information from major media publications as well as social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and presents the information in a rich appealing magazine style view. Flipboard 1.8 brings iPad users the Cover Stories view made popular in the iPhone edition, delivering a personalized feed of each day’s most interesting news, photos and updates. New International Content Guides in the latest version provide users with hundreds of recommendations for content from the U.K. and Ireland, Canada, Australia, France, Hong Kong, and Taiwan; the feature is joined by full French language support throughout the app and a new easy setup feature that lets new users pick topics of interest and get started more quickly. The update also adds a third page of tiles for users’ favourite content and new typography and photo layouts for even more display options. Flipboard 1.8 is a universal app requiring iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.

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