- October 22, 2013
Apple officially introduced the fifth-generation version of its iPad today, the iPad Air. The newly named iPad has a 43 percent thinner bezel, and is 7.5 mm thick; the Wi-Fi model weighs 1 pound, and the Wi-Fi + Cellular model weighs 1.05 pounds. iPad Air is 9.4 inches tall, and 6.6 inches wide. It comes in silver and space gray.
The iPad Air uses Apple’s A7 chip and M7 motion co-processor. It’s packed with a 5MP iSight camera, 1080p FaceTime camera, and dual microphones. It gets faster Wi-Fi using 802.11n with MIMO. Apple claims it has 10 hours of battery life.
Apple’s iPad Air starts at $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model, with $599 for 32GB, $699 for 64GB, and $799 for 128GB as the prices for the other Wi-Fi models. The Wi-Fi + Cellular models are priced at $629 (16GB), $729 (32GB), $829 (64GB), and $929 (128GB). iPad Air is available to order on Nov. 1.
Apple is holding a special event today at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, California to unveil the fifth-generation iPad and second-generation iPad mini, alongside updated iLife and iWork software—and quite possibly some surprises. In addition to individual stories discussing the developments as they happen, we’re providing this running, updated feed of what’s taking place at the event. If you have computer or iOS device access, you can watch the proceedings for yourself at Apple’s web site, otherwise enjoy our text-based coverage as the event takes place, and afterwards.
iPad: Apple sold 170m iPads as of this month. 475,000 apps just for iPad. iPad Air introduced as the fifth-generation iPad’s name. New A7 chip is inside. iPad 2 lives on for $399, amazingly. iPad mini 1G drops to $299, and Retina iPad mini starts at $399.
Apps: Apple announces 1 million apps in the App Store, downloaded 60 billion times. All new iLife apps for iOS + Mac, including flattened and simplified iMovie, flattened iPhoto, and 64-bit support for A7-series devices. Free with iOS devices, starting today. iWork also free, available today.
Mac: Retina MacBook Pros now $200 less expensive, featuring new components, and 13” model is thinner and lighter than before. OS X Mavericks released today, free to all Mac users of Snow Leopard or newer machines.
If you’re seeing this story on our home page, click on the title of this article or immediately below it for the full feed, which continues below the break.
ABC for Little Space Explorer ($2) from Common Extract is a new alphabet and science learning app for young children: A is for astronaut, B is for black hole, C is for crater, and so forth. Conceptually, the app is a bit odd — alphabet lessons are typically for kids aged 2-5, and the science content here is more for kids 6 and up—but parents who want their kids to learn about space might find it to be worth a peek. As tested, we didn’t always find the app’s interactive activities to be intuitive; in some cases, you’ll see 3-D cosmic maps or satellites that can be zoomed in on, while in others, the screen will flip to telescope and other views that don’t completely make sense. Even the alphabet selection screen is spread over two pages, which may confuse some kids. Our feeling is that Common Extract will benefit from polishing the app up a bunch, but the raw materials here are compelling.
Google’s standalone Hangouts has updated to version 1.3.0 with a major new feature — users can now make and receive telephone calls to land lines from an iOS device. The free app also now lets users send and receive animated GIFs, and it’s now possible to see which friends are using Hangouts, and who’s currently available.
Apple is developing a new keyboard for the full-size iPad that “mimics” Microsoft’s Surface touch cover, according to a blog post from Jamie Ryan, who formerly worked for Apple in Developer Relations. Ryan writes that it’s “not clear whether the process is far enough along” to debut tomorrow, but a number of different keyboards have been tested; he speculates the keyboard could use Bluetooth 4.0 to connect. As Ryan also claims that other “cover like” accessories have been looked at, there’s a possibility that Apple’s “We still have a lot to cover” invitation for tomorrow’s event is a reference to this. He also writes that Apple believes that “the market for the large iPad is mainly professionals looking to work on it whereas the iPad mini is mainly content consumption.”
It also appears as if new Apple TV hardware won’t be debuting at tomorrow’s event, despite prior claims from MG Siegler, who tweeted last month that new Apple TV hardware would be unveiled in October, and in August claimed that a “television product” with a possible new way of interacting with the device could be released by November. Siegler now says that “the most recent whispers I have heard is that the Apple TV project has been delayed a bit.” While leaving open the possibility that there could be an updated Apple TV unit or software at tomorrow’s event, “the device with some sort of newfangled control system” doesn’t appear to be ready to ship.
- October 17, 2013
AT&T has announced a new $5 a day plan for tablet users. The plan, announced today at GigaOM’s Mobilize conference, offers 250MB of data per day but expires quickly. Another new $25 plan offers 1GB of data for three months. A report notes AT&T will make it possible to purchase the new plans directly from an iPad. [via 9to5Mac]
StoryToys is back with another interactive pop-up book — Haunted House ($2), just in time for Halloween. Though the theme may seem scary, most kids won’t be frightened looking through this book with eight pop-up scenes. Haunted House includes full voice narration in English, French, German, and Spanish. A number of games are included within the pages, letting kids have the opportunity to seat at ghosts and mix a witch’s brew.
Microsoft’s brand new Microsoft Remote Desktop (free) app lets users connect to a remote PC to access Windows from anywhere. Users can access remote resources through the Remote Desktop Gateway. Microsoft promises a secure connection to data and applications, simple management of connections, and high quality video and sound streaming. An easy connection to external monitors and projectors helps those business types who need to make presentations.
Just released by Psyonix, ARC Squadron: Redux is a reboot of last year’s free Star Fox-style shooter, which puts you in control of a spaceship that flies through 60 levels of gun- and missile-firing action. Unreal Engine graphics optimized for Retina displays are an immediate attention-grabber, but the game has 20 different environments, and nine boss battles. Players can upgrade the ship and weapons as they shoot their way through the galaxy with tap and swipe controls. The music and voice samples are extremely impressive.
Batman: Arkham Origins (free) is a new one-on-one Batman fighting game from Warner Bros. Basically a sequel to Batman: Arkham City Lockdown, Arkham Origins offers new opponents, backgrounds and costumes. The game features swipe-and-tap gameplay, high-resolution graphics, and places an emphasis on increasing Batman’s abilities as you proceed through the game—not surprisingly, many in-app purchases are available to offset the initially free download, which uses a “stamina” bar to limit your play sessions. It’s also possible to connect the game to the console version of Batman: Arkham Origins for exclusive content.
- October 17, 2013
T-Mobile CEO John Legere dropped a broad hint that the carrier will be selling Apple’s new iPads in a recent tweet. Legere tweeted, “What has two thumbs and is excited for October 22? #thisguy” with a link to a story about Apple’s Oct. 22 event. It is believed Apple will unveil its new fifth-generation iPad and second-generation iPad mini on that day, and it appears T-Mobile will carry Wi-Fi + Cellular versions of the new iPads. In August, Legere said T-Mobile was looking forward to carrying “a whole array of Apple products,” and the company is already selling the latest iPhone models.
In a new blog post, digital magazine app developer Marko Karppinen recommends that publishers avoid Newsstand, the periodical section of the App Store and iOS. Karppinen writes that there are many misconceptions about Newsstand apps, which are really just apps published in the Newsstand section. He argues that Newsstand publications are too hidden within the app, especially in iOS 7. The redesigned app icon is described as something “so horrible that it’s hard to avoid thinking it was done maliciously: if someone was tasked with hiding away a set of unwanted apps, they would be likely to come back with a design that was something very much like the iOS 7 Newsstand.” As Karppinen also points out, automatic content downloads aren’t exclusive to Newsstand, and apps published outside Newsstand can always be moved into Newsstand later — but not vice versa.
- October 14, 2013
A number of Hong Kong case manufacturers recently showed cases for the second-generation iPad mini that could allude to a size slightly larger than the first iPad mini. The cases seem to fit a device with a thickness of 7.5 mm, as compared to the current iPad mini’s 7.2 mm, according to Macotakara (translated link). Width could also increase 0.2 mm in the new iPad mini. Considering the upcoming mini will reportedly be a Retina device, the news wouldn’t be unexpected, as more space would likely be needed to fit the new display.
Flickr (free) from Yahoo! updated to version 2.30.1503, enabling auto upload in iOS 7. Users can now automatically save their photos in Flickr’s 1TB-per-user storage space in full resolution. The app also now features auto straighten, letting users automatically straighten photos using the Flickr editor. Google sign-in issues have been fixed in the update, as well.
Foursquare (free) has made more major changes to its iOS app. Version 6.4 adds a “nearby” button to see what friends are around. Each friend’s most recent check-in is also shown, and more information can be accessed through their profiles. The app is also rolling out real-time recommendations to more iPhone users each day — checking in at a restaurant can show you a top menu item or daily special, for instance.
Apple will hold its new iPad event on Oct. 22, AllThingsD reports. The event will feature “the latest updates to the company’s iPad line” — the report mentions the fifth-generation iPad and second-generation iPad mini — as well as Mac Pro and OS X Mavericks. AllThingsD states that the iPad mini will indeed receive a Retina display and A7 chip, while the full-sized iPad will be redesigned with an A7 chip and improved camera. The location of the event is unknown at this time. Apple declined on-the-record comment on the report.
Camera+ ($2) from tap tap tap has upgraded to version 4.2. The update fixes and enhances burst mode shooting on the iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s. Additionally, a new effects pack has been added that includes all the filters in Apple’s iOS 7 Camera and Photo apps. The developer’s oddly punchy, not particularly Apple-friendly description of the update on the iTunes preview page is actually worth a read, as well.
Real Boxing ($5) from Vivid Games is now at version 1.4.1, which offers new iPhone 5s support within the Unreal Engine. This comes only a week after version 1.4, which gave players the ability to bet on their fight outcomes and win in-game currency. An enhanced multiplayer mode and global leaderboards were added, as well as Korean, Chinese, and Japanese language support.
A Hong Kong company, E-Ser Electronic Co., claims to have completed Lightning cables compatible with both iOS 7 and allegedly new Lightning authentication chips found inside the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s. The claims haven’t been verified, but are still notable, as non-certified Lightning accessories began to invoke warnings and charging malfunctions after iOS 7 was released.
Sega’s The Cave ($5) is an adventure game from Double Fine Productions and Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert. The Cave was previously released for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U, just now making its iOS debut. Players explore a sprawling cave using a team. Users pick three explorers out of seven, all with their own personalities, talents, and motivations. The gameplay dynamics are similar to Gilbert’s Maniac Mansion, an absolute classic from 1987.
Goodnight Mo ($3) is a new interactive pop-up book from StoryToys Entertainment. The short book shows a little monster named Mo getting ready for bed. He takes a bath, goes to the bathroom, and brushes his teeth before settling down for the night. It’s designed to help establish a bedtime routine for youngsters, who can have fun interacting with the various elements of the book. The app can read the book aloud to kids, or let them read it for themselves. Narration is available in English, French, German, and Spanish.
A number of schools across the U.S. have found that upgrading their student-used iPads to iOS 7 removed previous supervision profiles on the devices, AllThingsD reports. Losing the filters cleared any restrictions administrators put on the devices. Administrators also lost remote management privileges due to the upgrade. In response, some schools have changed network settings to stop iPads from updating to iOS 7. Apple is working toward a resolution. “Some business and education users have reported that their supervised devices have reverted to unsupervised when they upgrade to iOS 7,” Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller said. “We are aware of this issue, and will have a fix this month.”
Apple’s fifth-generation iPad and second-generation iPad mini will both have 8MP cameras with larger apertures, according to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo expects both devices to launch this year. Another report from earlier today expressed doubt that the second-generation iPad mini would launch this year — and if it is released in 2013, it may only be available in limited quantities. While all analyst predictions should be viewed with some skepticism, Kuo has been fairly accurate in the past. [via 9to5Mac]
Apple is working on a solution for a known iOS 7 glitch that is disrupting iMessage, the Wall Street Journal reports. Some users have found that iMessages appear to go through, only to later discover that the message has not actually been delivered. “We are aware of an issue that affects a fraction of a percent of our iMessage users, and we will have a fix available in an upcoming software update,” Apple said in a statement. A few workarounds have been suggested by users for the time being, including restarting the device, and disabling iMessage, resetting Network Settings, and then turning iMessage back on.
Apple’s second-generation iPad mini with Retina display won’t get a wide rollout this month, and might not even launch until 2014, Reuters reports. Sources in Apple’s supply chain say the company is just now readying production for the new iPad mini. If the device actually is released this year, it may only be available in limited quantities. While the exact reasons for the delays are murky, one source said “strict power-saving requirements” postponed Apple’s certification of panel producers. Two sources claim Apple is looking to reduce costs, and the company might also release an 8GB version of the new iPad mini. An August report claimed Apple would release both the fifth-generation iPad and second-generation iPad mini this year.
Flixster’s free app with the lengthy title — Movies by Flixster, with Rotten Tomatoes — has upgraded to version 6.6. The update brings HD streaming to select titles. The app also features a brand new design for iOS 7. Flixster notes those who are having issues with streaming movies due to the update should log out and log back in to fix the problem.
Navigon North America ($40) from Garmin has updated to version 2.6.1. As one might expect, it’s been updated to support iOS 7, and there are some bug fixes, but the big change is the app is now compatible with Garmin HUD. Garmin’s HUD — for Head-Up Display — projects navigation information onto a driver’s windshield from the app. HUD is an interesting concept that keeps eyes on the road while using navigation data, but the $150 device is a separate purchase from the already pricey app.