Apple’s iPad Mini Media Event Invitations to Be Sent out October 10?

Last month, it was reported that instead of Apple revealing the iPad mini at the same time of the iPhone 5, the company would announce it during a separate event. Now, a very sketchy report from Philip Elmer-DeWitt at Apple 2.0, suggests that Apple might send out invitations for the iPad mini event on October 10. DeWitt says that it’s a “rumor we have no reason to believe” except that it came from a major Apple investor.

According to our source, who asked not be named, there appears to be some truth to the widespread rumors that Apple is preparing to launch a smaller and cheaper version of the iPad — often called the iPad mini or iPad air and usually described as having a 7.85-inch screen.

What our source adds is the specificity of a date: The press, he says, can expect invitations to go out on Oct. 10.

Given’s Apple history and if the invites are indeed sent out on October 10th, it would suggest that the event would be held in the middle of the following week.

Apple Quietly Increasing iCloud Storage to 25 GB Until the Year 2050?

Last week, we reported that Apple sent out former MobileMe customers regarding their free 25 GB of iCloud storage. The email was a reminder that  their free 25 GB iCloud accounts will be reduced to 5 GB as of September 30.

TUAW is the first one to point out that Apple seems to be quietly increasing iCloud storage to 25 GB until the year 2050. I checked on my iOS devices and this seems to be the case for me too. It seems that Apple is quietly bumping iCloud storage space upgrades for ex-MobileMe users. In the past, Apple has been known to offer cloud storage upgrades for free when their services did not live up to expectations (MobileMe).

To check if your storage plan has been upgraded, launch Settings -> iCloud -> Account on your iOS device. I asked around on Twitter and it seems that only ex-MobileMe users are seeing an upgrade in storage. However, I have not been able to confirm it.

Apple offers free 5 GB of iCloud storage storage for free, but users that are interested in upgrading their storage by purchasing additional storage space can do so through their iOS device iCloud settings, System Preferences on a Mac, or iCloud Control Panel on a PC. Apple offers 10 GB for $20, 20 GB for $40, and 50 GB for $100 and all purchased amounts are added to the base 5 GB storage capacity.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Publishes Open Letter on Maps for iOS 6

Since the time iOS 6 was officially released to the public, Apple has been criticized for replacing the original Maps.app powered by Google Maps with its own in-house solution. Now, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has published an open letter to customers on the company’s website addressing the criticism over the new Apple-powered Maps app in iOS 6. In the letter, Cook apologizes to customers for not meeting expectations and mentions a number of alternative mapping solutions customers may wish to use while Apple continues to makes Maps much better. Well done, Mr. Cook. Apple is specifically promoting a page for map application alternatives in the App Store.

To our customers,

At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.

We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.

There are already more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps, with more and more joining us every day. In just over a week, iOS users with the new Maps have already searched for nearly half a billion locations. The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received from you.

While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.

Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.

Tim Cook
Apple’s CEO

I think what people fail to understand is that it took Google and many other mapping companies at least 5-7 years to create a great maps products. Apple’s only been in this business for a couple of years, but as time goes by, the Maps.app will undoubtedly improve.

Tim Cook Apologizes For Maps, Suggests Alternatives Including Google Maps

Apple ditched Google Maps in favor of its own Mapping service in iOS 6, and promised that it will be the most advanced mapping app with 3D buildings and effects. However, once the iPhone 5 and then iOS 6 were released, everyone realized that Apple had made false claims. The new Maps app in iOS 6 is much inferior to its competition especially Google Maps and lacks a lot of detail. Over the last couple of weeks, jokes about the new Maps app in iOS 6 have been flowing right, left and center and Apple has been heavily criticized for providing its users with a service that barely works.

Today, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has written an open letter to its customers accepting that the company “fell short on [its] commitment” to deliver a world class experience with its Maps app. The letter then states that Apple is “extremely sorry for the frustration” the new Maps has caused to its customers, and that the company is doing “everything” they can to make the experience better. The letter also states that as more and more iOS 6 customers will use the Maps, the better the service will get.

Tim Cook even went on to suggest iOS 6 users some other alternatives to Maps including Bing, MapQuest, Waze or Google and Nokia maps. While suggesting other alternative Maps service from Apple is a bold move, the company should not have removed Google Maps from iOS 6 or should have given users a warning who were upgrading from iOS 5 to iOS 6.

Below is the full letter from Tim Cook -:

To our customers,

At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.

We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.

There are already more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps, with more and more joining us every day. In just over a week, iOS users with the new Maps have already searched for nearly half a billion locations. The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received from you.

While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.

Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.

Tim Cook
Apple’s CEO

 

Camera+ Updated for iPhone 5 and iOS 6, New iPad App Released

Camera+, one of the best and hottest selling camera apps on the iPhone has now been released for the iPad. This new iPad app isn’t an universal app, but standalone one. It is on sale for just $0.99 right now. The iPad version offers similar features to the iPhone one including touch-up tools, filters, cropping and borders. Other features include a camera stabilization tool, timer and burst ode functions. The main focus of this app is to be a photography editing app and it makes great use of the iPad’s larger screen. I have been using the iPhone version for over a year now, and it is great! The iPad version is also very well done too.

In addition, both the apps support iCloud syncing that automatically syncs all your Lightbox photos between devices. The iPhone version also received an update, which added support for the larger, 4-inch screen of the new iPhone and iOS 6. The update also allows Facebook sharing of photo with single sign-on support.

Netflix for iOS Updated for iPhone 5 and iOS 6

Today, Netflix has updated its iOS app  for iOS 6 and the iPhone 5’s 4″ screen. This update also improves the browsing, searching and watching experience. In fact, I have tried it and it is very noticeable. Overall, it is a great update.

iOS apps supporting iPhone 5’s taller display is really useful in video/movie apps such as Netflix as it allows many widescreen movies to be viewed in their native aspect ratio. Watching video on the iPhone 5 is truly a bliss. The Netflix app is free download from the App Store, but requires a Netflix account.

Many popular iOS apps continue to get updated for the iPhone 5’s larger display. Yesterday, Instagram and Foursquare and many iOS games were updated.

Apple Considering Carbon Fiber Components for Upcoming Product?

A new report suggests that Apple has ordered a large number of parts made of carbon fiber, hinting that an upcoming product may be made of lightweight material. Macotakara reports that it has received information from a source hinting that employees of Apple and Foxconn have been working to source unknown parts from a company that specializes in carbon fiber materials.

The author “danbo” said that Apple has requested the carbon fiber samples from a Japanese company which began production with the material in mid-March. What exactly Apple ordered is unknown, but the source that the number of parts ordered by Apple are too great to be called simply a “sample.” In the past, Apple’s interest in carbon fiber has been detailed via a number of patent filings.

According to my source, some engineer of Apple and Foxconn Technology came on Japanese company, which has carbon production in mid-March, and they requested to develop some sample.

I don’t have information which is ordered by Apple, source told the number of parts is too large to be called “sample”.

One possible use for carbon fiber could be on the iPad. Currently, the iPad is made from a single slab of aluminum, which increases the weight of the device. Next month, Apple is likely to reveal a new iPad mini so we may see the carbon fiber technology implemented in it then.

Apple Releases 5.1 Update for 2nd and 3rd Generation Apple TV

Apple has released a new software update for the Apple TV. The version number of the software update is 5.1 and supports the 2nd and 3rd generation Apple TV models. The release’s build number is 10A406e and the new update adds support for Shared Photo Streams, the ability to send audio content from the Apple TV to AirPlay-enabled speakers and devices (including AirPort Express and other Apple TVs), and the ability to switch between multiple iTunes accounts. It is a pretty significant update overall. Last update for the Apple TV was released in June.

Details regarding the update can be found on Apple’s website:

Shared Photo Streams – Accept invitations for Shared Photo Streams, browse photos and comments, and receive notifications of new content.

AirPlay – Send audio content from Apple TV to AirPlay-enabled speakers and devices (including AirPort Express and other Apple TVs). Also includes the ability to require an onscreen code to use AirPlay with your Apple TV.

iTunes account switching – Save multiple iTunes accounts and switch quickly between them.

Trailers – Search movie trailers. In the United States, see show times for local theaters.

Screen savers – New Cascade, Shrinking Tiles, and Sliding Panels screen savers.

Main menu – Reorder icons on the second page by holding down the select button on the remote.

Subtitles – SDH support for the deaf and hard-of-hearing as well as improvements to viewing and selecting subtitles.

Network configuration – Support for setting up advanced network options using configuration profiles. See http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5437 for more information.

Stability and performance – Includes general performance and stability improvements.

Apple TV users can update their TV via the Settings menu -> then General, and then selecting Update Software.

Apple Notifies Former MobileMe Customers of Nearing iCloud Storage Downgrade

Today, Apple has sent out an email notifying former MobileMe customers regarding their free 25 GB of iCloud storage. The email is a reminder that their free 25 GB iCloud accounts will be reduced to 5 GB as of September 30. Apple offers free 5 GB of iCloud storage of storage for free, but MobileMe customers received an additional 20 GB for free when iCloud was first introduced. The offer was initially valid through June 30, 2012, but Apple later extended the offer through the end of September.

Additional information for those wishing to keep their iCloud storage needs below 5 GB can be found in an Apple support document. Users that are interested in upgrading their storage by purchasing additional storage space can do so through their iOS device iCloud settings, System Preferences on a Mac, or iCloud Control Panel on a PC. Apple offers 10 GB for $20, 20 GB for $40, and 50 GB for $100 and all purchased amounts are added to the base 5 GB storage capacity.

Apple iPhone 5 Sales Exceed 5 Million Units In Its First Weekend

Like the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5 was criticized heavily by critics, Android lovers and others for the lack of innovation. The Internet was and is flooded with comments from ‘experts’ that Steve Jobs would not have let Apple ship such a useless Maps app in iOS6 and more.

Nevertheless, even then the iPhone 4S became the fastest selling iPhone ever for Apple, and the iPhone 5 is no different. The handset hit the retail stores last week on September 21st, and has already managed to sell more than 5 million units inside 3 days.

“Demand for iPhone 5 has been incredible and we are working hard to get an iPhone 5 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “While we have sold out of our initial supply, stores continue to receive iPhone 5 shipments regularly and customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date. We appreciate everyone’s patience and are working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone.”

Considering that the iPhone 5 is only available in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the UK, this is no small feat. The demand for the handset will only soar more once it will be available in 22 additional countries on September 28th, and in 100 more countries by the end of this year.

The Galaxy S III, which is considered one of the best handsets in the Android ecosystem, if not the best, has sold more than 10 million units in 100 days, since it was launched. The iPhone 5 will easily surpass the sales figure of the Galaxy S III within the first week of it being available.

The press release from Apple also states that more than 100 million devices have already updated to iOS6, all within a week of the OS update going live.