5 Apple announcements including the all new Apple Watch

apple watch

As I sit here listening to my free copy “Songs of Innocence” by U2 I’m pondering all the press releases from Apple this past week. Apple gave us a lot to think about this week as they announced the Apple Watch device. Are you excited about these announcements or do you think that Samsung already stole their thunder?

I’ve seen the videos for the latest product announcements and definitely think the Apple Watch looks like a sexy cool device but the announcement seemed a little late considering Apple seemed to be first to market with the iPhone and all the hoopla surrounding that release. Yet here we are and here is how Apple is positioning this latest product entry,

“Apple Watch introduces a revolutionary design and iOS-based user interface created specifically for a smaller device. Apple Watch features the Digital Crown, an innovative way to scroll, zoom and navigate fluidly, without obstructing the display. The Digital Crown also serves as the Home button and a convenient way to access Siri. The Retina display on Apple Watch features Force Touch, a technology that senses the difference between a tap and a press, providing a new way to quickly and easily access controls within apps. Apple Watch introduces the Taptic Engine and a built-in speaker that together discreetly enable an entirely new vocabulary of alerts and notifications you can both hear and feel. Apple custom-designed its own S1 SiP (System in Package) to miniaturize an entire computer architecture onto a single chip. Apple Watch also features Wi-Fi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 4.0 to pair seamlessly with your iPhone.”

apple watchThe Digital Crown feature certainly makes sense to me and does seem like a great idea and the product itself does seem tempting considering it would pair with my iPhone via Bluetooth technology. However the $300+ price tag does seem daunting considering all the money I’ve been putting out upgrading all my devices. Will I spend the money? I guess we’ll see.

The next product announcement is the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus which are touted as the biggest advancements in iPhone history. We’ve got 2 new sizes which are both larger than their predecessor the 5S and a more powerful processor in the A8 chip. The design overall is sexier and for the gadget obsessed will be a must have for the upcoming fall season. Here’s something from the voice of Apple’s PR team,

“For the first time iPhone is available in two new sizes: iPhone 6 features a stunning 4.7-inch Retina HD display with 1334 x 750 resolution, providing 38 percent more viewing area than iPhone 5s, while iPhone 6 Plus features an even bigger 5.5-inch Retina HD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, providing 88 percent more viewing area and nearly three times the pixels than iPhone 5s. The Retina HD displays offer advanced technologies including higher contrast for deeper blacks and dual-domain pixels for more accurate colours at wider viewing angles.
 
With second generation 64-bit desktop-class architecture, the all-new A8 chip offers faster performance and is more energy efficient, delivering higher sustained performance with great battery life. With Metal, a new graphics technology in iOS 8, developers can take performance of the A8 chip even further to bring console-class 3D games to iPhone. The A8 chip also includes a new, powerful Apple-designed image signal processor that enables advanced camera and video features.”

For those interested in viewing media and video files on their mobile devices the 5.5 inch 6 Plus will be a must have. Now onto Apple Pay which is another groundbreaking announcement that allows consumers to simply tap their iPhone at retail point of sale debit machines to pay for merchandise using NFC antenna design technology. While this technology may not be readily available in Canada it is sure to follow shortly as retails ramp up to allow easier purchasing.

“Apple Pay supports credit and debit cards from the three major payment networks, American Express, MasterCard and Visa, issued by the most popular banks including Bank of America, Capital One Bank, Chase, Citi and Wells Fargo, representing 83 percent of credit card purchase volume in the US.* In addition to the 258 Apple retail stores in the US, some of the nation’s leading retailers that will support Apple Pay include Bloomingdale’s, Disney Store and Walt Disney World Resort, Duane Reade, Macy’s, McDonald’s, Sephora, Staples, Subway, Walgreens and Whole Foods Market. Apple Watch will also work at the over 220,000 merchant locations across the US that have contactless payment enabled. Apple Pay is also able to make purchases through apps in the App Store.”

Yet another release of iOS the operating system powering Apple mobile devices will be available soon as well. Here we’re looking at a more intuitive user experience along with a new Messages app that has been completely reworked and features the ability to send a video of what you’re seeing at the moment. According to Apple,

“… iOS 8, the biggest release since the launch of the App Store, will be available starting Wednesday, September 17 to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users as a free software update. iOS 8 delivers a simpler, faster and more intuitive user experience with new Messages and Photos features, predictive typing for Apple’s QuickType keyboard and Family Sharing. iOS 8 also includes the new Health app, giving you a clear overview of your health and fitness data and iCloud Drive, so you can store files and access them from anywhere. With more than 4,000 new APIs, iOS 8 allows developers to further customize the user experience with major extensibility features and robust frameworks such as HealthKit and HomeKit.”

And finally for those of you seeking more information about the free U2 album; if you are already an iTunes Store customer this is simply a free gift courtesy of Apple, Universal Music Group and U2. In fact the album just appeared in iTunes for me. I didn’t have to do a thing! By the way, the new album is great. You should check it out. For more details about the U2 giveaway check this out.

Jay

 

 

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Phantom Glass review

Phantom Glass

Phantom Glass has the answer to protecting your devices as its a tempered glass screen protector, created with Corning Gorilla Glass, to ensure maximum impact and scratch protection.

What is it?

at .2millimeters thin Phantom Glass features two unique coatings: a silicone nano-adhesion layer, which allows for easy installation while its oleophobic nano-coating that allows fingerprints to wipe off with ease.

Where can I get it?

In development for 2 years, Phantom Glass is available Staples, Future Shop Best Buy in Canada starting this week. It is available for iPhones, iPads, Microsoft’s Surface, and Samsung devices. Vancouverites should also inquire at other stores where they buy their technology as the company was in Vancouver this week hitting up potential vendors.

The company is based in Markham, Ontario and we spoke with Richard Waters, one of the company’s founders about why this is a great buy for smartphone users and techies alike.

“Phantom Glass is super strong, easy to install, impact resistant and has a lifetime warranty. If and when you drop your phone its engineered to break in a way that is safe to the consumer. We stand behind what we have built and will continue to do so.”

https://twitter.com/jay_kenobi/status/561610292610625538

For me it’s given my iPhone 4s new life. Switching from the Ballistic case to a cover for the back and Phantom Glass on front, my phone is lighter and brighter. Phantom Glass is so clear and easy to look at that you hardly know it is there. It also cleans easily and has taken a few drops and falls very well.

Waters notes that “We intend to keep company going and build respected brand that’s a go to for consumers and techies alike. We plan maintain retail partnerships and further enhance those relationships rather than sell the company to the highest bidder.”

Keep your eyes peeled for Phantom Glass at your local tech retailer or big box store. If you have the chance to give it a try or put it on your phone do it. You will be glad you did.

WWDC kicks off with some major announcements from Apple

wwdc

wwdcApple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) kicked off today in San Francisco. Highlights include Apple’s Mac operating system getting a new design while new features in the software for iPhones and iPads include one for keeping tabs on your health.

Apple executive Craig Federighi pointed out that data from various fitness-related devices now live in silos, so you can’t get a comprehensive picture of your health. That will change, he says, with HealthKit coming to the new mobile software, iOS 8. Apple is also working with the Mayo Clinic to make sure your weight, calorie intake and other health metrics are within healthy ranges.

Apple is also making it easier for various devices to work together. You can share songs, movies and books you purchase with your entire family. Macs and mobile gadgets will share more features, and you can share and sync files between the two more easily.

Changes to the Mac operating system, OS X

  • The next Mac operating system will be named Yosemite, after the national park.
  • Yosemite will have a translucent design. The notification centre will use that design, for instance, to give you an advance look at your calendar, weather and other information.
  • You’ll be able to search for content on the computer and on the internet at once, similar to a feature that came with Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 system.
  • Apple is expanding its iCloud storage service so that you can store and sync files of any type, not just the ones designed specifically for iCloud. It’s similar to how services such as Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive let you work with the same files on multiple devices more easily.
  • A Mail Drop feature will make it easier to send large files. Instead of pushing the entire file by email and overloading mail servers, the Mac will create a link that the recipient can click for the full file.
  • The Mac’s Safari web browser will have more privacy controls and ways to share links more easily.
  • The free Mac update will be out this fall. A version is available for developers Monday. This summer, Apple will also make a test version available to selected customers who aren’t developers.

Changes for iPhones, iPads

  • Like the new Mac OS, the iOS 8 system will have a universal search tool to cover both files on your device and content on the internet. It will also get the iCloud Drive service.
  • A “quick type” feature promises predictive typing suggestions. For example, if you start typing, “Do you want to go to,” the phone will suggest “dinner” or “movie” as the next word. Currently, the suggestions are limited to spelling corrections.
  • A “do not disturb” feature will make it easier to stop notifications on a conversation with just a swipe, while a “tap to talk” feature records and sends audio messages to a recipient so you don’t have to type.
  • IOS 8 will have a built-in health-management tool to help people track their vital signs, diet and sleeping habits. Apple’s chief rival, Samsung Electronics Co., incorporated fitness-related features in its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S5.
  • Apple announced new technology for controlling garage doors, thermostats and other home systems, although the company didn’t say how all the pieces will be linked together through what it calls HomeKit.
  • The new software will likely come with new devices for the holiday season, with free updates available for recent models.
  • Apple will also let app developers sell bundles at discounted prices.
  • The fingerprint security system on the iPhone 5s will be accessible to apps written by outside parties. Previously, it was limited to Apple functions, such as unlocking the phone and verifying iTunes purchases.

Working together

  • Although the Mac and iOS systems are separate, Apple CEO Tim Cook says the two have been engineered to work seamlessly together.
  • Apple’s AirDrop feature, which has let you share files with other devices of the same type, will now let iPhones and Macs share directly with each other.
  • A new “handoff” feature will let you switch devices more easily, so you can start writing an email on a phone and finish on a Mac. And when a call comes in on your iPhone, you can get caller ID information on your Mac.
  • The iMessage chat service will now let you communicate with devices that aren’t running iOS, such as those running the rival Android system from Google.

Original article

Apple Buys Beats, But What Does it Mean?

apple beats audio

Apple, the company that transformed digital music into a worldwide phenomenon, confirmed that it was buying Beats Electronics for $3 billion. This is a move that will help Apple reinforce its position in the new world of streaming music and stay ahead of the personal accessories explosion.

New research from Futuresource Consulting provides market context which reveals the full extent of the market opportunity.

The global consumer electronics [CE] market has been moving skywards since the recession of 2009, but with growth confined to mobile devices and the emerging markets. Many CE brands are struggling as more competitors enter from China and new brands compete in high growth niches like wireless audio.

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Since 2009, total CE sales have risen at 9% CAGR, reaching $676 billion worldwide in 2013. However, the European market has slumped from 26% of global CE consumption in 2009 to just 21% in 2013. Meanwhile, emerging markets have grown to account for an estimated 50% of worldwide CE market value in 2013, China’s domestic market alone accounting for around 15%.

Audio has been relatively buoyant, spurred by the boom in mobile music and streaming services, which have driven demand for accessories like wireless speakers and headphones. Sonos, which has pioneered wireless music systems, doubled sales to $535 million in 2013. Beats Electronics, launched just five years ago, has become the market leader in high end headphones and enjoyed estimated sales of over $1.5 billion in 2013. Pure, which drove DAB hardware in the UK, is now pushing into networked audio players.

Ironically Apple, which started the MP3 revolution, has seen iPod sales decline sharply as smartphones have taken on the role of music player with many consumers.

From a music streaming angle, consumer spend on global music subscription services such as Spotify and Deezer was estimated to be just under $2 billion in 2013.

There is still significant potential for the market to grow, with music subscriptions accounting for just 10% of the total music market spend last year, equivalent to around 25% of the digital music market. This is expected to exceed $5 billion in 2017, equivalent to 30% of global music market spend. In comparison, spend on online video subscription services such as Netflix last year was almost $5 billion.

In Sweden, music streaming accounted for around 70% of total market spend in 2013, up from around 20% in 2010.

Many consumers are moving away from ownership towards an access model, for both music and video. Total “pay per download” e.g. track and album downloads from services such as iTunes, declined in the USA last year, significantly down in Sweden and stabilising in the UK. Some consumers are changing their behaviour and this is impacting ownership, although most music buyers are still in the transition somewhere between buying CDs, buying digital tracks and albums – with the final step paying for a streaming subscription service such as Spotify.

Paid-for streaming subscriptions are increasingly driven by in-home wireless audio products, such as wireless speakers (e.g. Sonos) and integrated Hi-Fi with airplay, Bluetooth and the like.

Global shipments of wireless home audio products grew by over 100% in 2013 to reach 27 million units. Futuresource’s latest Living With Digital consumer research indicates that owners of such devices are 2.5 times more likely to pay for a digital music subscription compared to the overall population.

 

SOURCE Futuresource Consulting

Using Star Ratings for Songs and Albums in Apple iTunes

itunes

Lately my shuffled songs in iTunes haven’t been doing it for me. It seems like I’m spending more time skipping through songs to hear something I like. So I’ve decided to use the star ratings to make the shuffled song experience better.

In my research I’ve found that people use the star rating system to literally rate songs. For example 5 stars is a great song and 1 star is a shit song. Now this seems like a reasonable approach right? It may seem that way on the surface but it’s not. Let me explain.

In my humble music library I have a grand total of 11640 songs at present. My collection of Beatles tunes itself is enormous, pretty much encompassing their entire discography. Now most people would agree that the Beatles are a five star band correct? So by nature I marked all my Beatles songs as five star. The problem with this approach, I found very quickly, is that when I shuffled my songs the Beatles would play for every other song!

This meant I had to rethink the entire star rating system. Rather than thinking of the star rating on a shit to great scale I had to wrap my head around it being more of an occasional to frequent scale. So this means that when I rate my Beatles library all as two stars or three stars it simply means I want the songs to play less frequently than they were before.

Also with smart playlists you can do some magic. I’ve created some playlists called “2 Stars Up and “3 Stars Up” which I can use to create some great mixes. Also there’s already a built in smart playlist called “My Top Rated” that already accounts for songs with 4 and 5 stars.

star rating itunes

There’s a lot of things you can do with iTunes and the smart playlist functionality is amazing. You could even create playlists with different parameters like the one below that has Year and Rating values assigned. This is accomplished by clicking the plus button to the right of the fields.

star rating itunes

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Let me know if you have any questions or comments. I’d love to hear how you organize your own music library.

Jay

iPad Air and iPad Mini 2 unveiled on October 22nd

ipadair

Last week I wrote about the impending launch of two new Apple devices and low and behold Apple did not disappoint with its two new tablet releases and a host of other interesting tech announcements on Tuesday. I must admit i didn’t expect the launch of the Air tablet. It’s an interesting development in the world of tablets and portable devices.

The new iPad known as the iPad Air was the highlight of the launch in San Francisco. The souped-up iPad Mini was also unveiled and it boasts a faster microprocessor, a high-definition display screen and a higher price than its predecessor. The new iPad Air will launch on Nov 1st, 2013 with the Mini 2 expected later in the month. Full technical specifications on the iPad Air are here.

iPad Mini 2iPad Mini 2

The Mini 2 is what i was waiting to hear about.  I’m most interested in the components themselves. In tech circles it’s well-known the Mini was a squished version of the iPad 2 and lacked some of the better components of 3rd and 4th generation iPad’s.

I visited the Apple website and they have a great comparison page on all the latest products. The A7 processor is present on the Mini with the retina display and the new iPad Air.

Gizmag also has a great comparison of the new and earlier iPad Mini and it’s well worth a read. They do a great job of breaking down things part vs part as well as construction and price.

Retina Display

The improvements to the Mini were  expected and I must admit I’ve waited to get one for a while. Adding Retina display is a welcome one. It’s Apple’s technology for liquid crystal display (LCD) screens and according to the company means that the human eye is unable to notice pixelation at a typical viewing distance. Retina display is also in the new iPad Air as well.

Apple will continue to sell the iPad 2 and a  discounted price and the Mini as well. The Mini will drop in price by one hundred dollars and will be around for another year.

iPad Mini 2 and iPad 5 set to launch Oct 22nd

iPad Mini 2

iPad Mini 2As soon as you hear a rumour about an Apple device launching you know it’s true. When i saw the tweet pop up in the Vancouver Gadgets twitter feed this week regarding the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 I knew they were launching soon. Both are supposedly coming Oct 22nd.

Apple always intrigues me when it launches a new product because rumours swirl on the internet and in the media weeks in advance and then the Apple PR machine will quietly and calmly announce and invite the world’s press to a special event where all is revealed. I most intrigued by the next generation of the iPad Mini because I like the idea of a mini tablet and not a full size like the iPad.

For myself I always watch Apple product hype and launches with interest since I use the iPhone 4S. I have tried a number of small tablets already including the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and I thought it was one of the best tablet’s I had ever tried but having committed to the Apple ecosystem I’ll stick with that for the foreseeable future.

Design and Hardware Changes

Information leaked on the iPad Mini 2 shows it will look like the first generation Mini. It will however receive a boost in terms of a better processor and retina display. The 1st generation Mini was basically an iPad 2 and many apple fans were not impressed. I must admit that’s why I waited to buy a Mini as I wasn’t content to get a squished down version of the iPad 2. Better to let Apple work out the bugs and have a third of fourth generation product that’s top of the line. The A6 chip most recently used in the iPhone 5 should be in the iPad Mini 2.

Pricing

Pricing is often another beef for non Apple fans as the iPad and iPad Mini cost more than its Samsung or Lenovo counterparts. The iPad is always more expensive than the Mini and the Mini alone is 329 for a 16GB non Cellular capable device. That being said, people who have bought into the ecosystem know they’re getting a great operating system and tons of apps and the ability to have Apple devices work together seamlessly.

Apple unveils new iPhone 5C and 5S

Never one to cause too much hype or fervor Apple announced today the launch of the iPhone 5s and the new 5C.

Apple iPhone 5s
Apple iPhone 5s image courtesy of http://www.apple.com/

These will be available on September 20, 2013.

Coming on the heels declining stock prices and much speculation about how the company will do with Tim Cook at the helm the 5S once again demonstrates that Apple is planning on going away any time soon.

Apple also launched the new 5C as well and this has some wondering if Apple has poached its premium phone in favour of a new cheaper model. I don’t believe this is the case as Blackberry Q5 is a great alternative to the Q10 and it operates basically the same as the Q10.

Apple iPhone 5S Highlights

The iPhone 5S will have an A7 chip. This chip brings 64 bit processing into the smartphone space. Apple claims this is a first as 64 bit processing is usually available only for desktop computers. It will power the iPhone 5s with twice as many transistors as the A6 chip.

The 5S will also have a better camera than the 5 claims Apple. Called ‘iSight” this camera will allow you to take better photos because of larger pixels that capture more light. It also has a slow-motion camera for video.

Colour choice for the 5S is interesting since it will ship in silver, gold and space grey. I’m not sure gold would be my first choice for a smartphone since my 4S is black but perhaps Apple is trying to create the illusion that smartphones are as valuable as gold, silver or platinum.

The most interesting feature is the fingerprint reader that with a bit of work will allow you to unlock your 5S. Bold to be sure and having devices be able to recognize fingerprints opens up a number of possibilities for not only payment systems but wearable tech as well. Pressing your thumb or another finger on your iPhone is far more convenient than entering the 4 digit pass code I use for my 4S. I’m sure we’ll hear more on this as the phone gets into the hand of consumers.

Apple iPhone 5C Highlights

The newbie to Apple’s phone lineup is the 5C. Having reviewed the Blackberry Q5 a few weeks back, I’m intrigued to see how this model will play out. Blackberry has developed the Q5 to appeal to a lower price and developing markets for smartphones and it seems Apple has done the same.

Like the Q5, the 5C has the A6 chip that is in the iPhone 5 so some might think that this phone is a cheaper model. I’ll wait and see when I try out a 5C to see if the phone looks and feels cheaper. The Blackberry Q5 certainly did not. The 5C will be green, blue, yellow, pink and white. This to me seems downright brazen for Apple who hasn’t gone beyond white or black in any earlier models. That being said the iPod does come in many colors and shapes and sizes. The 5C has an 8 megapixel camera, live photo filters and a rear cover that lights up. The iPhone 5C will cost $99 for a 16 gigabyte model and $199 for a 32 gigabyte model.

 

Apple Introduces iPad mini

SAN JOSE, California―October 23, 2012―Apple® today introduced iPad® mini, a completely new iPad design that is 23 percent thinner and 53 percent lighter than the third generation iPad. The new iPad mini features a stunning 7.9-inch Multi-Touch™ display, FaceTime® HD and iSight® cameras, ultrafast wireless performance¹ and an incredible 10 hours of battery life²―every inch an iPad, yet in a revolutionary design you can hold in one hand. Apple today also announced the fourth generation iPad featuring a gorgeous 9.7-inch Retina™ display, new Apple-designed A6X chip, FaceTime HD camera and ultrafast wireless performance. Both iPad mini and fourth generation iPad come with iOS 6, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system with over 200 new features.“iPad mini is every inch an iPad. With its gorgeous 7.9-inch display, iPad mini features the same number of pixels as the original iPad and iPad 2, so you can run more than 275,000 apps designed specifically for iPad,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “iPad mini is as thin as a pencil and as light as a pad of paper, yet packs a fast A5 chip, FaceTime HD and 5 megapixel iSight cameras and ultrafast wireless―all while delivering up to 10 hours of battery life.”iPad mini comes in a beautiful new aluminum and glass design that is just 7.2 mm thin and weighs only 0.68 pounds. The 7.9-inch Multi-Touch display delivers the same iPad experience users have come to expect, in a design that has 35 percent more screen real estate than 7-inch tablets and up to an astonishing 67 percent more usable viewing area when browsing the web. The dual-core A5 chip delivers responsive graphics and a fast, fluid Multi-Touch experience, while still providing all-day battery life.iPad mini features a front-facing FaceTime HD camera and a 5 megapixel iSight camera on the back with advanced optics for taking sharp still pictures and recording full 1080p HD video. The iSight camera includes video image stabilization and both cameras feature backside illumination to let users capture great pictures in low light. iPad mini also allows easy sharing of photos with friends and family using iCloud’s Shared Photo Streams.

iPad mini features dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi support for speeds up to 150 Mbps,³ which is twice the Wi-Fi performance compared to previous iPad models. iPad mini is available in Wi-Fi + Cellular models which are world-ready with built-in support for ultrafast wireless standards, including LTE¹ and DC-HSDPA, so you can browse, download and stream content fast from wherever you are. iPad mini data plans will be available with no contract so you can simply sign up and activate service directly from your iPad.⁴ The Personal Hotspot feature means you can share a fast cellular data connection via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB with up to five other devices such as MacBook® Pro, iPod touch® or another iPad.⁵

The new fourth generation iPad features the amazing 9.7-inch Retina display and includes a new Apple-designed A6X chip that delivers up to twice the CPU performance and up to twice the graphics performance of the A5X chip, all while delivering an incredible 10 hours of battery life in the same thin and light iPad design. Other new features include a FaceTime HD camera, twice the Wi-Fi performance when compared to previous iPad models and support for additional LTE carriers worldwide.⁶

iPad mini and fourth generation iPad both feature support for the Lightning™ connector that is smaller, smarter and more durable than the 30-pin connector. Lightning connector accessories are available to support cameras, SD cards and VGA or HDMI digital video.⁷ Existing iPad Smart Covers and the iPad Smart Case are compatible with fourth generation iPad, and new polyurethane Smart Covers custom-designed for iPad mini are available in pink, green, blue, light gray, dark gray and (PRODUCT) RED for $39.

iPad runs over 700,000 apps available on the App Store℠, including more than 275,000 apps designed specifically for iPad, from a wide range of categories including books, games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel. iPad also supports the more than 5,000 newspapers and magazines offered in Newsstand and the more than 1.5 million books available on the iBookstore℠. The iTunes Store® puts the world’s most popular online music, TV and movie store at your fingertips with a catalog of over 26 million songs, over 190,000 TV episodes and over 45,000 films. The new iBooks® app for iPad lets users read ebooks in over 40 languages. iBooks also lets users experience an entirely new kind of ebook that’s dynamic, engaging and truly interactive. Ebooks created with Apple’s new iBooks Author offer gorgeous, fullscreen ebooks with interactive animations, diagrams, photos, videos, custom fonts, mathematical expressions and much more.

Pricing & Availability
iPad mini with Wi-Fi models will be available in black & slate or white & silver on Friday, November 2, for a suggested retail price of $329 (US) for the 16GB model, $429 (US) for the 32GB model and $529 (US) for the 64GB model. The fourth generation iPad with Wi-Fi models will also be available on Friday, November 2, in black or white for a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 32GB model and $699 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad mini and the fourth generation iPad will be sold through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores, and select Apple Authorized Resellers in the US, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

iPad mini with Wi-Fi + Cellular and fourth generation iPad with Wi-Fi + Cellular will start shipping a couple of weeks after the Wi-Fi models, beginning in the US on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. iPad mini with Wi-Fi + Cellular will be offered for a suggested retail price of $459 (US) for the 16GB model, $559 (US) for the 32GB model and $659 (US) for the 64GB model. Fourth generation iPad with Wi-Fi + Cellular for AT&T, Sprint and Verizon will be offered for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model. Additionally, iPad 2 is available at $399 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and just $529 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G model where they are sold now.

Customers can begin pre-ordering all models of iPad mini and all models of the fourth generation iPad on Friday, October 26 through the Apple Online Store in the US, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

¹LTE is available through select carriers. Network speeds are dependent on carrier networks. Check with your carrier for details.
²Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors. Actual results vary.
³Based on theoretical speeds, actual speeds may vary.
⁴Only available on some carriers.
⁵Personal Hotspot requires supporting data plan. Customers should check with their carrier for availability.
⁶LTE is available through select carriers.
⁷Sold separately.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

Press Contacts:
Trudy Muller
Apple
tmuller@apple.com
(408) 862-7426

Natalie Kerris
Apple
nat@apple.com
(408) 974-6877

Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, Mac OS, Macintosh, iPad, Multi-touch, FaceTime, iSight, Retina, MacBook, iPod touch, Lightning, App Store, iBookstore, iTunes Store and iBooks are trademarks of Apple. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

T Minus 2 Hours and Counting until the iPhone 5 launch….

With what may be the worst kept secret in the tech world, Apple has scheduled a press conference for today to announce what many believe is the iPhone 5. Are you holding your breath while waiting for the announcement or taking it in stride?

In what has become commonplace in the tech industry often sees a company such as Apple announce what appears to be a launch of a new product, allow rumors on the Internet and the Twitterverse run rampant, have that announcement generate so much buzz and potential sales and then unveil the product to folks who have in their minds anyways likely already bought the phone.

Such tactics could be a PR or Marketing person’s dream or nightmare, depending on your point of view but one thing is certain, when and I won’t say if, the iPhone 5 is unveiled today, the tech industry may have changed forever.

That being said Apple has a lot of work to do now. Though likely patting itself on the back for it’s victory over Samsung, the Samsung Galaxy SIII will provide this latest Apple Product with its stiffest competition.

As CNET news has noted “Google’s mobile OS holds dominance over iOS. Can that dominance be broken, or at least lessened, by the iPhone 5? Led by Samsung, Android has proven a tough competitor for Apple, gradually winning over more and more consumers with an array of new blockbuster devices.”

With the promise that the iPhone will operate on LTE networks as well as boast a bigger screen and slimmer design like it’s Samsung counterpart, CNET also notes that the allure of the phone might be the fact that iPhone 4 users will be coming off contract and will be wanting a new device. One doesn’t have to think too hard that that was planned by Apple.

With less than two hours until the launch, soon all your questions will be answered….

Apple iPhone 5 Launch
Image courtesy of Apple http://www.apple.com/iphone/

 

The Fastest Dual-Core Chip: A5

a5 Chip Courtesy of the Apple Insider

Vancouver Gadgets welcomes guest blogger Kate Wilsson who brings us the latest on the A5 Chip.

The fastest dual-core chip: A5

The iPad is all geared up to be powered with a new engine-the A5 chip. Apple has announced an all-new redesigned iPad which will be equipped with this dual core processor.

The A5 chip is a redefined version of the A4 chip that is currently the power force behind the iPad and iPhone4. The 10 hour battery life will be unchanged in a tablet that will now possess double the processing power of its previous version. It will also give almost twice the speed and performance of CPU’s found in earlier tablets.

There is more to the A5 chip than the dual core though. It has also enhanced graphic processing capabilities which will save time and still allow for great graphics with your new iPad. Consumers who fear that this might take a toll on battery life can be assured that Apple has not compromised an inch on battery life and will still offer the same 10-hour battery life to all those who use their products.

a5 Chip Courtesy of the Apple Insider
Apple’s A5 Chip

Performance differences are  evident when you are surfing the web, watching movies, or making video calls using FaceTime. Multitasking is easier; gaming is smoother and viewing animations is much clearer. Watching movies or videos will seem like a big screen experience. As the Apple officials put it, “Everything just works better.”

The dual core A5 chip is really an ace up Apple’s sleeve as it looks to take an even bigger bite out of the tablet market. This announcement is sure to cause heartburn in the tablet industry that can’t do anything but fear a drop in its market share when up against Apple.  This is not very good news to Motorola’s Xoom tablets that were the first dual core tablets to be released in the market earlier this year. Like Blackberry and Samsung, They may have to keep their fingers crossed so that they do not lose their loyal customers to the new iPad.

About the author: Kate Wilsson is a blogger by profession. Check out her blog Gizmowatch.com. She also loves writing on luxury and lifestyle and is fond of books. She recently bought a book on Industrial Design.

We would like to credit the Apple Insider for the use of the A5 Chip Photo.