According to a new report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News, Apple’s third-generation iPad mini will be an “Air”-like model, featuring a design that shaves 30 percent off the thickness of the device. This thinness along with a powerful new A8 processor will be among the main selling points for the next generation iPad mini, claims the Asian sources (via GforGames).
While the sources of the rumor are given only as from the supply chain, the claim of a 30 percent thinner iPad mini seems to be an overly optimistic one. The original iPad mini measured 7.2 mm thick, and the device saw a slight increase to 7.5 mm with the move to a Retina display last year. The larger iPad Air moved in the opposite direction last year, slimming down from 9.4 mm in the fourth-generation iPad to match the Retina iPad mini at 7.5 mm.
A 30 percent reduction in thickness for the iPad mini would put it in the range of 5.25 mm, and how Apple would achieve such a reduction is unclear, especially given the increase in horsepower seen with the move to a Retina display last year. That move made the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini essentially identical with the exception of display size.
Apple is expected to release the updated iPad mini in the third quarter of 2014, likely following the iPhone 6 launch in September. Besides a possible thinner form factor and A8 processor, the next generation iPad mini also is expected to include a more durable Touch ID fingerprint sensor containing tin. Similar to the iPhone, the next generation iPad is expected to support iOS 8′s new SDK that allows third-party developers to access the fingerprint scanner for verification purposes.
Besides the iPad Air and iPad mini, Apple is rumored to be expanding its iPad lineup with a larger 12.9-inch iPad. Dubbed the “iPad Pro,” the larger model may not be released until 2015, claims DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh. This prediction echoes a earlier report from KGI Securities Ming-Chi Kuo who also predicted a 2015 launch date for the oversized tablet device.
Paul McCartney went through a rift with streaming services, but the former Beatle has been always been keen to keep his albums available on iTunes. Now, Sir Paul is following a growing trend for releases and reissues: apps. Five of McCartney’s classic albums (Band on the Run, McCartney, McCartney II, RAM and Wings over America) are now available as iPad apps, complete with bonus material. On top of the extra videos, photos, interviews and remastered tracks, the standalone downloads are priced at $7.99 — $5 less than the regular deluxe versions. Of course, you’ll have to contend with streaming the tracks through each app rather than hopping around the complete set in your mobile library. The move is nothing new though, as Lady Gaga, Björk and others have taken a similar route with companion software and added content. It’s no secret that artists are having a hard time paying the bills from record sales, so packaging music as paid apps seems a tactic to fill the void.
[Photo credit: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images]
Filed under: Software
If you had any lingering notions that Apple and IBM were still bitter arch-rivals, they just got swept away. The two companies have just launched a partnership that could give iPads and iPhones a much larger presence in the workaday world. IBM has agreed to develop over 100 enterprise-grade apps solely for iOS, along with iOS-focused cloud services; it will also sell Apple’s mobile gear as part of its larger solutions, and it’s even handling on-site support. Apple, meanwhile, is offering a special business-friendly support plan.
IBM doesn’t have as much clout as it did when it was a direct competitor to Apple in 1984, or even as much as when it was putting PowerPC chips in computers like the Power Mac G5. However, this deal is still huge. While Apple has been spending a lot of energy making iOS suitable for work, it’s still primarily focused on personal devices — the IBM pact gives it an important ally who can court the less exciting (but clearly important) corporate crowd. Google is making big strides toward improving Android’s business credentials, and Microsoft has a longstanding advantage of its own, but the new agreement could give them significantly tougher competition. Don’t be surprised if you end up getting a company-issued iOS device where you didn’t have one before, or suddenly get the all-clear to bring one into the office.
The Pediatrics article focuses on an 11-year-old boy who may be allergic to the nickel used in the casing of the tablet device. Following the increasing use of an iPad, the patient developed a rash that would not respond to conventional treatment.
His skin tested positive for nickel, one of the most common allergy-inducing metals, and doctors traced it back to an iPad he had used with increasing frequency the past six months. The iPad tested positive for nickel as well, according to the report.
Doctors advised the boy to use a Smart Case that covers the entire outer surface of the tablet. Similar to other reports of electronic device-induced rashes, the boy’s skin condition improved significantly when he started using a case that prevented direct contact with the device.
As noted by the Associated Press, nickel allergies in children appear to be on the rise, with 25 percent of those receiving skin tests testing positive for nickel allergies, up from 17 percent a decade ago.
This iPad isn’t the only device implicated in skin rashes. Earlier this year, Fitbit voluntarily recalled its Force fitness tracker after a growing number of users developed contact dermatitis from wearing the band. The rash was originally attributed to nickel in the charging port of the band, but that metal may not be involved as many users covered the nickel-containing port with tape and continued to experience a rash.
Google’s Niantic Labs grew the potential audience for Ingress in a big way late last year, when it put out the finished Android version of its augmented reality game. Today, the studio is taking the next (if fairly obvious) step toward grabbing more players: it’s releasing the long-promised iOS edition. Both iPad and iPhone owners can now capture territory (“portals” in Ingress-speak) and build up their virtual skills by visiting real locations. The experience will be very familiar if you’ve played before; missions give you an incentive to keep coming back, while faction chats let you coordinate turf battles and meet fellow players. There aren’t any major tweaks or upgrades that we’ve seen. The game ultimately remains an excuse to explore new places, but that’s not a bad thing if you’re tired of visiting the same old haunts — hit the App Store if you’re willing to give it a spin.
Back in April CNNx launched, letting viewers jump through the news of the day and watch what they want, when they want. The only problem? Other than the fact that it’s restricted to CNN’s iPad app and web site, only subscribers to a few providers could actually access it. Now, CNN is rolling out the service nationwide, and as Multichannel News points out, Time Warner Cable as the only major provider that’s not yet set up for access. While it starts off with a live feed of the channel, you can skip through the story rundown and select anything from the past day, then just watch that or see related info. The plan is to also bring this to other set-top TV boxes soon, but there’s still no word on access for Android devices, iPhones, or other mobile platforms. There’s a demo video after the break so you can get a feel for it, but iPad-owning cable/satellite TV subscribers can just open the CNN app and try it out right now go to the website here.
Facebook Messenger makes the most sense on a phone, but plenty of people still want to chat on their tablets — and apparently, Facebook knows it. The social network has just updated Messenger for iOS to support the iPad, letting you carry on a conversation without having to either dig through chats in the main Facebook app or rely on third-party titles. The iPad interface mostly behaves like a super-sized version of what you see on an iPhone, although you miss out on a handful of recent feature additions, like tap-and-hold video capture and the split-screen selfie mode. There’s no corresponding native interface for Android tablets just yet, although the iPad refresh suggests that one might be on the horizon.
Source: App Store
Apple today announced it is updating its iTunes U app with new iPad-related features that’ll make it easier for teachers and students to use the tablet device for their online courses. These new features will be available starting July 8th.
“Education is at the core of Apple’s DNA and iTunes U is an incredibly valuable resource for teachers and students,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “iTunes U features an amazing selection of academic materials for everyone around the world. Now, with the ability to better manage and discuss educational content, learning becomes even more personalized on iPad.”
The new app updates will allow teachers to create full courses completely on their iPad by importing content from iWork, iBooks Author or educational apps in the iOS App Store. Teachers also can use the camera on the device to incorporate photos and videos into the course material.
iPad-owning students enrolled in an iTunes U course will benefit from the update with a new discussion feature that allows them to collaborate with both teachers and other students in the class. Students can follow discussions and receive push notifications when new topics are created or new comments are added to an existing discussions.
An iPad for every student was the plan. Then, some students were too smart for their own good, quickly enabling their for-learnin’ iPads to access to anything on the web, including Twitter, Facebook and all that other fun stuff. LA’s school district now plans to differentiate what it offers its students, authorizing purchases for one of six different devices, including laptops and hybrids such as Chromebooks, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2 and Lenovo’s Yoga Touch. This fall, teachers and students will test these laptops to see if they fit. “The benefit of the new approach is clear,” said Los Angeles school board member Monica Ratliff, talking to the LA Times. “Why would we treat all our students – whether they are a first-grader or a high school freshman – as if they all had the same technology needs? They don’t.”
Last year’s iPad scheme rolled out to 47 schools, but alongside those aforementioned security filter woes, distribution of the tablets soon fell behind schedule. Worse still, educational materials were apparently often incomplete. (In the new scheme, materials from three different publishers are also being trialled) Given the touchscreen keyboards, iPads were apparently difficult to use while sometimes exam problems were often obscured due to the screen size. iPad distribution across LA’s school district remains on hold, although some school are still scheduled to receive them later this year.
Source: LA Times
Google bought Quickoffice to boost the productivity of its Apps suite, and it clearly accomplished that mission when it released a slew of mobile editing tools that merge Quickoffice’s file tech with Google Drive. Accordingly, the search firm is pulling the plug on the earlier software; it’s going to remove Quickoffice from both Apple’s App Store and Google Play “in the coming weeks.” You can still download it after that if you’re an existing fan, but newcomers will have no choice but to use either Google’s apps or their rough equivalents.
The move isn’t surprising, since there’s no need for Google to keep a redundant app hanging around. However, it marks the end to a long, long chapter in cellphone history. Quickoffice was a mainstay of mobile workers before smartphones took off, and it has run on most major (and not-so-major) platforms over the span of roughly 12 years — it’s sad to see the name go, even if the technology will live on.
Source: Google Apps