Apple Announces New iPad Air, iPad mini, iMac, Updated Mac mini, Announces iOS 8.1, Releases Mac OS X Yosemite

In an event in Cupertino on October 16, Apple announced a slew of updates to their iPad and Mac lineup.

As usual, Apple CEO Tim Cook started off with some tidbits, including the how well-received the iPhone 6 has been, the big deal with Apple Pay (which launches on Monday October 20) with offline and online payments, the reception for Apple Watch, the WatchKit SDK availability in November, and as we know, the launch of Apple Watch in “early 2015″.

Biggest iPhone Launch Ever

Cook claimed that these are the fastest-selling iPhones in history. In the first 30 days that the iPhones have been available, Apple took the most orders for the devices. Curiously though, no hard numbers were provided. The phones will be available in China on all three carriers simultaneously for the first time, and the pre-orders there have set a high watermark, per Cook.

iOS 8 and OS X

Craig Federighi, the senior Vice President of software engineering at Apple, then came on stage to talk about iOS and OS X. Federighi showed an adoption chart that had iOS 8 on 48% of iOS devices and iOS 7 is on 46%. He made it seem like that it’s a good thing that the latest two OSes are on such a large percentage of devices, whereas in the past Apple used to be able to claim that the latest operating system was the one on most devices already. He clearly dodged the issue of slower iOS 8 adoption. However, any such chart will compare very well compared to Android. On the Android chart, Federighi showed that the latest version, Android KitKat was on 25% of the devices only after 313 days of release.

After the competition trash-talking, Federighi moved on to recap all the iOS 8 features which have already been discussed in previous events, and are well-known to most of the audience. There was a focus on Swift, the programming language introduced with iOS 8, and its huge adoption. He also talked about how IBM has devoted many resources on building enterprise line of business apps using Swift.

Federighi also announced an update to iOS 8, iOS 8.1. This update will provide Apple Pay support, iCloud Photo Library (5GB free, 20GB for 0.99 and tiers up to 1TB), and in a cheeky acknowledgement, he said it will bring back the Camera Roll which was inexplicably omitted in iOS 8.

On to Mac OS X, one of the curios facts that Federighi mention was that Yosemite beta had a user base of 1 million just two days after Microsoft announced that Windows 10 Technical Preview (not really a beta) has a user base of 1 million too, but that is only over a period of 10 days.

Similar to the iOS 8 recap, Federighi rehashed various new features already announced in Yosemite, and then announced that it will be available today. In addition, he announced that an updated iWork, Apple’s free productivity suite, will also be available for free today.

iPad Air 2

Cook came back to talk about the success of the iPad. He said that there are more iPads sold in the first 4 years (225 million) than any other product Apple has sold, ever. It is the #1 tablet in customer satisfaction, usage, education, enterprise, as well as consumer.

Phil Schiller, senior Vice President of worldwide marketing then came on stage to talk about the new iPads. The focus of the iPad Air 2 is on thinness, with it being only 6.1mm thin. It is 18% thinner than the iPad Air which was already one of the thinnest, if not the thinnest, tablet in the market.

There is no air gap in the next-generation Retina display, so the images and text are even sharper now. Apple has also added an anti-reflective coating on the surface, to reduce reflections by 56%.

iPad TouchID
iPad TouchID

iPad Air 2 Key Specifications

  • New A8X processor with 2nd generation 64-bit architecture
    • 40% faster CPU, 2.5x faster GPU.
  • New motion co-processor M8
    • Tracks motion
    • Calibrates sensors
    • Barometer included, like the iPhone 6
  • New 8MP iSight camera
    • f/2.4
    • 1080P HD video
  • First time in an iPad:
    • Panoramas up to 43MPixels
    • Burst mode
    • Timelapse
    • Slo mo video
  • Dual microphones to capture better sound when recording video
  • New FaceTime camera:
    • Burst selfies
    • HDR with single image, so there is no image composition involved
    • HDR videos
    • Updated image detection
  • Faster WiFi: 802.11ac with MIMO delivers up to 886Mbps
  • Faster and expanded coverage of LTE with 20 LTE bands
  • The most requested feature was adding TouchID to iPad and it is now available
    • With TouchID, Apple Pay is now enabled for the iPad, but only for online purchases, not retail stores

iPad Air 2 pricing

Like Apple did with the iPhone 6, the second tier of storage was skipped and bumped up to the next higher tier. So there is no 32GB iPad anymore, and it goes 16GB, 64GB and 128GB.

WiFi only: $499 for 16GB, $599 for 64GB, $699 for 128GB
WiFi + Cellular: $629 for 16GB, $729 for 64GB, $829 for 128GB

iPad mini 3

The iPad mini did not get much stage time, but it’s probably because the only thing “new” in the mini is the TouchID. Other than the TouchID, the mini 3 is much like the mini 2. The pricing:

WiFi only: $399 for 16GB, $499 for 64GB, $599 for 128GB
WiFi + Cellular: $529 for 16GB, $629 for 64GB, $729 for 128GB

Apple is keeping both, the original iPad mini as well as the iPad mini with retina (newly renamed to iPad mini 2) in the lineup.

Pre-orders for the new iPads start on 10/17, and they ship by the end of the next week.

iMac

The iMac finally gets a Retina display but Apple has packed their 27″ iMac display with a 5K resolution. That translates to 5120 pixels by 2880 pixels. It is the world’s highest resolution display. This 5K display packs 7x more pixels than HD TV display of 1080P and 67% more pixels than  a 4K display. It is also incredibly thin, at only 5mm. Among other things, Apple has made custom components like the timing controller, oxide TFT material, organic passivation technology and power-efficient LEDs for backlight, which results in a computer that uses 30% less energy than the previous iMac.

Retina iMac
Retina iMac

iMac Key Specifications

  • 3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, configurable up to quad-core 4.0GHz Intel Core i7
  • 8GB memory, configurable up to 16GB or 32GB
  • 1TB Fusion Drive, configurable up to 3TB Fusion Drive, or 256GB/512GB/1TB of Flash storage
  • AMD Radeon R9 M290X with 2GB of DDR5 memory, configurable to AMD Radeon R9 M295X with 4GB of DDR5 memory

The iMac with Retina 5K Display ships today for $2499.

Mac mini

Finally, Schiller spent a few minutes talking about what he called “the first Mac for many”, the Mac mini. It is updated with a spec bump across the board, with 4th-generation Intel processor, Intel Iris HD 5000 graphics, PCI-e Flash storage, 802.11ac WiFi and two Thunderbolt 2 ports. It will be sold for $499 now, instead of the earlier model’s price of $599, and it will ship today.

So, that was a lot of stuff Apple announced and is going to take pre-orders for and/or ship. One thing missing conspicuously from the event was Apple TV. Many anticipated some sort of an App Store for the Apple TV but that did not happen.

What did you think of the event and the announcements? Are you going to buy any of the new products?

Apple Seeds iOS 6.1.1 Beta 1 To Developers

Days after Apple released iOS 6.1 to iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch owners, the Cupertino based company has released iOS 6.1.1 beta for developers. Apple states that the first beta of iOS 6.1.1 brings with it major enhancements to the Maps app along with the Maps data for Japan.

Below is the full change-log of the update from 9to5Mac -:

  • Improved pronunciation of roads during turn-by-turn navigation
  • Optimized directions to more strongly prefer highways over narrower roads
  • Now indicates upcoming toll roads during turn-by-turn navigation
  • Added labels for junctions, interchanges, on-ramps, off-ramps, and intersections
  • Added indicators for transit station buildings, subway lines, and traffic lights
  • Updated freeway color to green
  • Updated icons for some location categories including fire stations, hospitals, and post offices Added 3D buildings including Tokyo Station, Japan Imperial Palace, and Tokyo Tower

At the moment it is unknown whether Apple has patched the exploit on which the latest jailbreak – evasi0n -was based on. Either ways, if you have jailbroken your iOS 6.1 running iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, stay away from installing the beta firmware on it.

 

Fifth iOS 6.1 Beta Build Released To Developers

Today, Apple released the fifth beta of iOS 6.1 for developers for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation iPad, the iPad mini, and the iPhone 3GS/4/4S and 5.

Surprisingly, according to the hacker community, the fifth beta can be activated “without developer registration and has no release keys.” If Apple wants, it can very well release the fifth beta of iOS 6.1 to the consumers as the final version without making any changes. The beta also carries the build ID of a final iOS 6, and not that of a beta build.

iOS 6.1 will bring with it the ability to purchase movie tickets via Siri in the United States, new lock screen music controls, and the ability to easily report issues in the iOS6 Maps app. Other changes include the option to download music from the iTunes store over a mobile data connection, enhanced iCloud setup and other minor tweaks and enhancements.

Via – 9to5Mac

Apple iPad mini and iPad Coming To China On January 20th

Today, Apple announced that it will be bringing the fourth generation iPad and the iPad mini to China beginning from Friday, January 18th.

The iPad mini sports a 7.85-inch screen, a dual-core A5 chip, and a 5MP camera. Its bigger brother, the fourth generation iPad, sports a 9.7-inch Retina Display, 1GB of RAM, and a very powerful A6X SoC. Both the tablets will come with iOS6 pre-loaded, which Apple dubs as the most advanced version of iOS yet.

The iPad mini with Wi-Fi and Cellular model will set buyers back by US $459 for the 16GB model, and US $559 for the 32GB model. The 16GB iPad with Wi-Fi and Cellular radio is priced at roughly US $629, while the 32GB variant costs US $729.

The iPad mini and the fourth generation iPad will be available at Apple’s online store and retail stores, along with certain authorized resellers from this Friday in China.

Apple Releases iOS 6.0.2 for iPhone 5 and iPad mini

Today, Apple released iOS 6.0.2 for iPhone 5 and iPad mini. The release notes for the iPhone only note that an unnamed Wi-Fi bug has been fixed.

iOS 6.0.2 Software Update

This update contains improvements and bug fixes, including:

• Fixes a bug that could impact Wi-Fi

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

The update can be download via Software Update in Settings or through iTunes.

American Kids Want Apple Products for Christmas

A new survey by research firm Nielsen reveals that  U.S. consumers aged 6-12 are very interested in purchasing Apple’s iOS products over the next 6 months. The new Nintendo Wii U claimed the #2 spot, but significantly fell behind the iPad. Apple’s iPod touch, iPad mini, and iPhone are rounded out the rest of the top 5 most wanted products for this age group. 48 percent of children surveyed showed interest in the full-sized iPad (up from 44 percent last year), and 36 percent in the new iPad mini.

Nielsen also surveyed people older than 13+ and discovered that the iPad also topped that list. However, the remainder of the 13+ year old list wasn’t as much in favor of Apple than the 6-12 year old group.

It sounds like it is going to be a massive holiday quarter for Apple.

Apple Sells Three Million iPads in Opening Weekend

Today, Apple announced that it sold three million iPads since the launch of the iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad on Friday. The company did not give separate sales numbers for the iPad and iPad mini, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. Usually, Apple doesn’t reveal sales numbers of particular device. Apple did say that the sales of the iPad mini exceeded initial supply though.

Apple today announced it has sold three million iPads in just three days since the launch of its new iPad mini and fourth generation iPad—double the previous first weekend milestone of 1.5 million Wi-Fi only models sold for the third generation iPad in March. The Wi-Fi + Cellular versions of both iPad mini and fourth generation iPad will ship in a few weeks in the US and in many more countries later this year.

“Customers around the world love the new iPad mini and fourth generation iPad,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We set a new launch weekend record and practically sold out of iPad minis. We’re working hard to build more quickly to meet the incredible demand.”

The company also said that while many iPad mini preorders shipped to customers, some are scheduled to be shipped later this month.

Apple Starts Running iPad mini ‘Piano’ TV Ad

With the launch of the iPad mini, Apple started to run a new television ad for the device. This ad was showed off during last week’s media event and in my opinion, it is one of Apple’s best ad ever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vM9U70HgLsQ&feature=player_embedded

The ad is called “Piano” and does not have any voice over. Instead, the ad features GarageBand running on the full-size iPad playing one hand of the two-hand duet from ‘Heart and Soul‘. This piano piece is an easy-to-learn piece among beginner pianists. Seconds after, the iPad mini appears, playing the second part of the duet. Simplicity and brilliance at its best.

Apple Sells out of Launch Day iPad Mini Pre-order Stock

Apple sold out of its iPad mini pre-order stock this morning. On Friday, the company sold out of its white iPad mini pre-order stock within minutes, but its black models held out until today. Apple is still quoting its original “Mid November” estimate for cellular-capable models in the U.S., with other countries seeing “Late November” estimates.

The iPad mini was introduced during a special media event on October 23rd and the company began accepting pre-orders on Friday, October 26th. Apple’s iPad mini will officially launch on this Friday, November 2. Apple’s retail stores will begin sales at 8:00 AM on Friday. In addition, the new fourth-generation iPad is also launching this Friday with a similar launch schedule as the iPad mini. The new fourth-generation iPad WiFi only models will be made available this Friday while cellular-capable models will follow later.

 

Apple Introduces New 7.9-Inch iPad Mini

Today, during the media event Apple unveiled the iPad mini. The device features a 7.9-inch display with a resolution of 1024×768 pixels. iPad mini measures just 7.2 millimeters thin and weighs 0.68 pounds.

The iPad mini features a dual-core A5 processor, a FaceTime HD camera on the front and a 5-megapixel camera on the rear, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity, and 4G LTE cellular connectivity in some models. Even though it is smaller in size, the iPad mini offers up to 10 hours of battery life.

Since the iPad mini’s screen has the same resolution as the iPad 2, all existing iPad apps that work on the older iPad 2 will work on the iPad mini without any need for developers to make modifications to their existing apps.

iPad mini starts at $329 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi model, with the 32 GB Wi-Fi model priced at $429 and the 64 GB Wi-Fi model coming in at $529. It will cost an additional $130 for models with cellular capability.  All models are available in the same black/slate and white/silver color schemes seen on the iPhone 5.

Pre-orders for the iPad mini will start on Friday, October 26, with the Wi-Fi models shipping on November 2 and the cellular models starting to ship two weeks later.

Apple has also introduced new polyurethane iPad mini Smart Covers in six different colors, priced at $39 each.