Sprint, T-Mobile leave devices open
The new Apple SIM in the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 is being locked to AT&T if data subscribers choose that carrier, according to complaints. The problem is confirmed by a new Apple support document, which says that when buyers "choose AT&T on iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, AT&T dedicates Apple SIM to [that] network only."
Lack of antenna for NFC radio hobbles unit for Apple Pay retail buying
A new teardown of the iPad Air 2 has confirmed much of what was speculated about the device, but has also revealed some minor surprises. The team at iFixit have rated the new iPad a "two" on a scale of 10, with 10 being the most repairable. The company says that while the new "fused" display is better visually, and sturdier when opening up the iPad, it will also increase the cost of repair for a cracked screen. The teardown also revealed that the latest full-size iPad features a smaller battery and more RAM.
Option temporarily restricted to Wi-Fi models
Shoppers at Apple's online store now have the option of selecting Personal Pickup as a delivery option for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. When preorders opened last Friday, the company required all orders to be shipped. Notably, some stores are listed as having iPads ready for pickup today, even though Apple Store workers are saying they won't have tablets on sale until later this week, or even next week. Shipped orders are beginning to arrive on doorsteps however.
Mini 3 criticized for not having enough value
Early reviews of the iPad Air 2 and Mini 3 are beginning to arrive, and are typically touting the tablets as Apple's best ever, but with some caveats. Re/code's Walt Mossberg for instance says they represent a "modest evolutionary improvement over last year's models, not the kind of big change that the first iPad Air or the Retina display iPad mini did last year." He suggests that the Air 2 may be worth buying for people owning an iPad older than last year's model.
Some units could ship as soon as October 23rd
Apple is beginning to ship the earliest preorders of the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 bought at its online store, accounts say. Notifications are being sent out today. Some orders are scheduled to ship on October 23 specifically, while other people have been given a broader 23rd-27th timeframe.
Ordering through carrier will allow financing options
T-Mobile's US branch has announced that it will start offering preorders for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 on Wednesday. While the hardware available to preorder since last Friday already supports T-Mobile, ordering directly from the carrier opens up financing options. The 16GB LTE models can be had for no down payment on a two-year contract, with monthly fees being approximately $26 for the Air 2 and $22 for the Mini 3. That's on top of a mandatory Simple Choice data plan.
In-store pickup options only listed as 'coming soon'
Apple has officially opened up preorders for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 at its online store. In the US, Apple is currently promising delivery sometime between October 23rd and the 27th. Delivery in fact appears to be the only option, as in-store pickup is quoted as "coming soon."
Event featured expected news for news iPad, surprises for 5K iMac and Mac Mini
Chatter between the staff of MacNN and Electronista is always occurring behind the scenes, but it ramps up when special events or live reveals happen in the tech world. Excitement was amplified this week as Apple took to the stage barely a month after its last event, the September showcase that launched the iPhone 6. Editors Mike and Charles, along with writer Jordan, debate some of the new device information that trickled out of the Wednesday event, while digging a little deeper on the impact the devices could have on Apple.
New SIM tech lets users switch between carriers
The iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, both announced today, will also come with a new SIM card dubbed the Apple SIM. Previously, people ordering a cellular iPad had to choose their carrier in advance. The Apple SIM will let buyers pick a single iPad and quickly switch between AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile plans in the US, and even EE in the UK. Verizon is not participating, and the service will require activating through a store.
New tablet even thinner than iPad Air, half the thickness of original iPad
Through its press event, Apple today unveiled the iPad Air 2, and a third-generation iPad mini. Both are the first iPads equipped with Touch ID fingerprint sensors, previously limited to iPhones. For the first time, the tablets are also available in a gold color along with previous silver and "space gray" options. Touch ID can be used for Apple Pay, but only online, not at retail outlets.
Leak coincides with Google Nexus 9 announcement
New screenshots for Apple's iOS 8 User Guide have revealed details of the new iPads the company is expected to reveal tomorrow. The tablets are identified as the "iPad Air 2" and "iPad mini 3." Both appear similar to their predecessors design-wise, but are equipped with Touch ID sensors. The screenshots also indicate that the Air 2's camera will support burst photography, as on the iPhone 5s, 6, and 6 Plus.
Calls for 27-inch Retina iMac, modest Mini update at press event
Apple will announce a second-generation iPad Air at tomorrow's press event, but 2014 shipments of the tablet will be hampered by production delays, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. "Of the new products, we think the market will be more interested in iPad Air 2. However, as the poor yield rate of anti-reflective coating cover lens has delayed mass production, we estimate 2014 shipments of iPad Air 2 to 7M to 9M units, lower than the 12M units of the then-new iPad Air shipments in 2013," he writes. "We thus expect iPad Air 2 to contribute less to the supply chain than iPad Air did last year. We also don't expect the event to boost supply chain shares much."
'Mass quantities' of new product already en route to US
Apple is already shipping "mass quantities" of a new product to the US, apparently with the aim an October 24 launch, a source says. The product in question is unspecified, but given the timing it's anticipated to be the second-generation iPad Air, third-gen iPad mini, or both. Apple has an iPad-centric press event scheduled for this Thursday, and typically likes to ship new iOS devices a little over a week after their introduction.
Images of next iPad Air logic board leak, reveal 2GB of RAM, A8X chip, more
What looks to be a legitimate logic board for the next-generation iPad Air has leaked, and appears to support several previous rumors regarding the changes that are likely. A new rumor, however, adds to what is generally "known" about the upcoming revision by stating that, like the unexpected debut of the iPhone 6 Plus, the second-generation Retina iPad mini -- long thought to be delayed -- will be debuting alongside the larger version at Apple's press event, scheduled for Thursday.
Tablet even thinner than iPhone 6 Plus
A Vietnamese website has produced photos of what appears to be a fully-assembled dummy model of the second-generation iPad Air. The tablet is said to be just 7mm thick, making it even thinner than the iPhone 6 Plus -- which is rated at 7.1mm -- and marginally thicker than the 6.9mm iPhone 6. In contrast, the current Air measures 7.5mm.
Could ditch 16GB model, support Apple Pay
A new report -- citing researchers with access to pictures and illustrations from Apple sources -- claims to have details of what the final or near-final second-generation iPad Air will feature. One major improvement is said to be a fully-laminated display, in which the LCD and cover glass are merged into a single unit, as with the iPhone. This should improve the size and weight of the device. TPK, GIS, Sharp, Samsung, and LG are mentioned as manufacturers, with the report saying that the screen should improve in quality as well.
Up to 480 songs on your wrist, perhaps, but only iPad Airs for Xmas
A new pair of rumors -- one from sketchy sources in Taiwan, the other a claim by a Wall Street analyst -- offer some unconfirmed sources of new details for the Apple Watch, as well as the company's holiday plans for the next iPad, the latter thus far being unmentioned by Apple but expected sometime next month. According to Taiwan's Commercial Times, Apple will only offer an updated 7.9-inch iPad Air for the holidays, leaving the second-gen Retina iPad mini until early next year.
Tablet should be thinner, faster, equipped with Touch ID
Supply firms are ramping up production for the second-generation iPad Air, sources say. The people indicate that touch panel makers like TPK and GIS are receiving Apple orders for full-lamination units. Sharp, Japan Display, and LG Display -- typically believed to be the tablet's main LCD suppliers -- are also reportedly receiving an uptick in orders, but for the iPhone.
Magnus iPad stand uses magnets to hold tablet in place
Ten One Design has announced the release of its new iPad stand, Magnus, which uses magnets to hold the tablet in place. Designed to work with iPad Air, the low-profile stand features aluminum finishing and is minimally visible from the front of the tablet. Its rubberized magnetic grip protects the refined aluminum enclosure of the iPad from unwanted scratches, additionally providing surface traction. Weighing less than two ounces, its 22-degree viewing angle offers a suitable positioning for viewing in landscape mode. The Magnus Air is priced at $40.
Retailers looking to clear out old stock
Best Buy is conducting a one-day sale on all its iPad Air models, cutting their costs by $75 each. That makes a 16GB Wi-Fi Air $425, and a 16GB 4G Air $555. The most expensive iPads -- 128GB 4G models -- have been lowered to $855. A further $50 discount on any of the models is available to educational buyers.
iWatch may have 512MB of RAM, 8GB of storage
The second-generation iPad Air should see a switch from 1GB to 2GB of RAM, according to a Taiwanese site, TechNews. The third-gen iPad mini, however, will allegedly retain 1GB, according to the publication. That would be a reversal of last year, when the Mini was made equivalent to full-sized iPads in everything but size.
TweetDeck updated for OS X, adds Regional + City level Trends
TweetDeck by Twitter has received an update for OS X. The app is designed for publishers, marketers and power users of Twitter, and features a customizable layout for the social networking platform. Tweetdeck v3.8.4 offers the ability to find locally trending topics for Regions and Cities, adding a column based on the trend.
Includes bigger speaker grilles, shifted rear mic
A Taiwanese accessory maker, Yi Lin Enterprises, has posted photos online showing what's claimed to be a rear shell for the second-generation iPad Air. While mostly similar to the current Air, the shell's speaker grilles have been modified to use a single row of larger holes, and the rear microphone port has been placed next to the iSight camera. The part appears to be for a space gray model.
iPad Air is a more capable productivity tool than some might expect
The question of how much productivity you can get done on the Apple iPad is one that has persisted since its introduction. Even if the question is not an easy one to answer, it seems almost irrelevant to even ask when one looks at how massively successful the iPad has been since its introduction. The question also depends on what one defines as being 'productivity,' when it has been clear for some time that plenty of people can and do use iPads for getting work done, particularly in creative endeavors. The recently announced partnership between Apple and IBM in enterprise, coupled with the arrival of Microsoft Office for iPad suggests that the iPad's capability in the workplace will be properly tested given that IBM also becomes an official Apple reseller and will help to shift many more units into the workplace.
Griffin Technology's Survivor Slim rugged iPad Air case now available
Griffin Technology has announced the release of a new rugged case for use with iPad Air. The Survivor Slim aims to deliver protection for all conditions, featuring a shatter-resistant shell and silicone bumper for absorbing the shock of a drop. Its accompanying screen shield prevents scratches and smudges, and the flexible button covers deflect dust, dirt, and rain from entering vulnerable places on the tablet.
All models are 16GB only, limited choice on selection and carriers
Nearly four years after Costco and Apple had a falling out that resulted in the discount chain pulling all Apple products from its warehouse outlets, the discounter is now again selling iPhones and iPads, albeit in a limited fashion for the time being in its US stores. After first bringing back iTunes gift cards to the stores, the Costco Mobile online store is now carrying 16GB models of the iPhone 5s and 5c, as well as the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display, with discounts as high as $121 off retail.
TSMC bulking up production
TSMC will start shipping a new generation of Touch ID sensors for Apple products in July, claims the China Times. Production is expected to jump a colossal 233 percent to 120 million units, presumably because the sensors will also be used in iPads for the first time. On top of this, though, the parts have allegedly been designed for better durability, and will be built at an expanded 8-inch fabrication facility.
Builds in shortcut buttons, palm rejection, pressure sensitivity
Adonit has unveiled the Jot Touch with Pixelpoint, an iPad stylus based on Adobe's new SDK. Its name refers to the Pixelpoint tip, which is extremely precise and has 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity. Supporting apps also make use of the stylus' two shortcut buttons, and turn on palm rejection to prevent accidental input.
Other parts to follow
Displays for a second-generation iPad Air should enter production later this month, followed shortly by other components like camera modules, claims Korean site ETNews. Apple is expected to stick to the same 9.7-inch 2048x1536 panels it used with the Air. LG Display will reportedly lead production, followed by Sharp and Samsung in July.
Kindle for iOS adds compatibility with Audible audiobooks
Kindle has updated its iOS app, now allowing users to access purchased Audible content. Users can switch back and forth between reading a Kindle version of a book and the Audible audiobook version, depending on the relevant situation. Over 45,000 Kindle and Audible title pairs are now available. Additional features in v4.3 include synchronized reading progress between the Audible and Kindle versions of a book, the option to increase narration speed by up to 2x, and bulk title downloading. The Kindle iOS app is free to download through iTunes.
Belkin announces availability of QODE Thin Type keyboard case
Belkin has introduced a new keyboard case for the iPad Air, intended to provide a laptop-like experience. The Qode Thin Type is approximately 12 ounces in weight, and features comfortably-spaced, responsive keys, Bluetooth connectivity and functions as a screen cover when not in use. Secure-hold magnets attach the keyboard case to the iPad, and is compatible with both landscape and portrait viewing. Its rechargeable battery can run for 79 hours of average active use. Available in silver, the Qode Thin Type for iPad Air is priced at $100 and is available for purchase online.
Pegatron rumored to have 15 percent of iPhone 6 orders
Taiwanese supplier TSMC has delivered the first batch of Touch ID fingerprint sensors for several Apple products, including the iPhone 6, second-generation iPad Air, and third-generation iPad mini, supply chain sources claim. The sensors are reportedly being assembled by TSMC subsidiaries Xintec and Suzhou Crystal Semiconductor. While the rumor is hard to verify, Apple is likely receiving parts in preparation for mass production, since its flagship products -- iPhones and iPads -- are due to refresh in the fall. Reports have also indicated that Apple intends to expand use of Touch ID beyond the iPhone.
Simple designs, different directions
On Tuesday Logitech announced several new iPad cases. Here at MacNN we were given a chance to try two of them, the Hinge and the Turnaround, both in versions for the iPad Air. Since they're relatively straightforward cases, we thought we'd give them a simple-hands-on rather than full reviews.
Ultrathin gets lighter, more angles
Logitech today officially launched three new cases for the iPad Air and the iPad mini. Leading these is the Big Bang, which merges a compact folio design with shock-absorbing material; Logitech claims the case can survive drops from as high as 1.4m, or about 4.6 feet. The front and back are also covered with liquid-resistant materials. The Air version of the case costs $100, while the Mini edition is $80.
Folio tries to bridge paper and tablet worlds
Before we get rolling, I'll confess: I've never understood the purpose of cases like the Booqpad. If you've got a tablet, surely part of the point is being able to ditch paper entirely. In practice of course, there are times when a pen and paper are handy -- but can that justify building an entire case around the concept? I suppose we'll have to put the Booqpad to the test.
New model could be even thinner
Newly-leaked photos show a front panel claimed to be for the second-generation iPad Air. The photos were obtained by a Dutch website, One More Thing. While the panel is similar to its equivalent for the first-gen Air, it appears to have switched to an integrated display. That could allow a second-gen tablet to become even thinner, or maintain the same size and improve battery life.
Inspirational series highlights iPad Air's role in film production
A choreographer for Bollywood movies is the subject of the latest installment of Apple's "Your Verse" iPad campaign, which starts with inspirational stories of individual users on its website that often go on to be incorporated into its television ads. Feroz Khan, the choreographer in question, says he relies on his iPad Air to help with directing and analyzing dance scenes, scouting locations, assisting with costumes and other details involved in the filmmaking process.
Case for the constant traveler
For professional use, the iPad is something of a strange beast. It's more work-friendly than a smartphone obviously, but still not as powerful as a laptop. The main advantage over a computer is portability -- it's thin and lightweight, and many airport checkpoints won't even make you take it out of your carry-on when you fly. STM's new Folio case for the iPad Air is intended to make things even more travel-friendly, thanks to loops and pockets for your essential gear. Does that actually make it a practical case, though?
First time iPad buyers will have access to China's limited LTE network
Apple has revealed that China Mobile and its other Chinese telecom partners -- along with its own stores and resellers -- are carrying a special model of the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display that is specific to the Chinese market, and compatible with the country's proprietary TD-SCDMA wireless standard, meaning new iPad buyers can now use the tablets on China's limited TD-LTE cellular network, which is mostly limited to the biggest cities. The Chinese iPads are separate models from the ones sold outside China.
Apple, Times still deciding when and where to return banner
Apple and the New York Times mutually agreed to pull an iPad Air ad from the Times' website yesterday after an unfortunate headline pairing, according to Advertising Age. The ad is another take on Apple's Your Verse campaign, and features a still of a scuba diver using an iPad, with the slogan "See the unique ways people are using iPad around the world." On Tuesday, though, that ad was paired alongside a headline reading "Malaysia Says Jet Went Down in Ocean."
Is bamboo worth the premium?
It's hard to say where it comes from exactly, except perhaps the speaker industry, but there seems to be a strange fetish for wood in modern electronics. If you're buying a Moto X, you can even pay a $25 upfront premium to add a wood back. Few companies though have gone to the same extremes as Grove, which -- apart from a few leather notebooks -- only produces wooden iOS and Mac accessories. We were recently given a sample of their Bamboo case for the iPad Air, which we put through the wringer.
iPad Air, Surface 2, HP Chromebook 11 go head-to-head
The mobile space is probably the most hotly contested space in the tech industry at the moment. It used to be the case that when you wanted to get work done on the go, a full-powered notebook was the one and only way to go. While notebooks and ultrabooks still play a vital role in keeping people productive on the go, the rise of tablets has led to a revolution in how people are staying productive on the go -- at least for light Office-style productivity and creative tasks. Three devices staking a claim for this space include the Apple iPad Air, the Microsoft Surface 2 and the HP Chromebook 11, although each is distinctly different. If productivity is an important criteria when choosing a mobile device, which of these is the one to get?
Swivel Screen Portfolio Case features detachable Bluetooth keyboard
Favi has announced its release of the Swivel Screen Portfolio case for iPad Air, featuring a detachable Bluetooth keyboard. Aiming to fill the gap between tablet and laptop usage, the portfolio case positions an iPad Air in a similar manner to a Macbook setup. Its Bluetooth keyboard holds an 80-hour charge if used continually, and includes scissor-switch keys, which allow for quiet and stable typing. Fully adjustable, the stand can rotate for comfortable viewing. Available in black, silver and gold, the Favi Swivel Screen Portfolio with keyboard is priced at $40.
Suggests higher prices may not equal quality
When Logitech's Ultrathin Keyboard Cover first came out, it caused something of a minor stir in the iPad world. It was the very first keyboard cover, solving a problem many people probably didn't realize they had: finding a Bluetooth keyboard that's more convenient than a separate unit, but less bulky than a full-on keyboard case. The one major issue -- apart from having to find your own protection for an iPad's rear shell -- was price. Even now, the Ultrathin is $100, which isn't far off from the cost of a keyboard folio. Anker's TC930 attempts to duplicate much of the Ultrathin for a cheaper price, while simultaneously putting its own spin on things.
Design held back by critical mistake
We've likely all had to cope with something -- a product, a person, a place -- that was almost perfect, but shot down by some critical flaw. I imagine that for many people, Chil's updated Notchbook case for the iPad Air may fit into the same category. In our review we'll see if the Notchbook might still be worth a go, since it gets so many things right, and offers a few features other cases miss.
Customizable luxury case for iPad Air
Shortly after the original iPad launched in 2010, one of the first cases on the scene was the DODOcase -- a luxury folio made using bamboo and traditional bookbinding techniques. That product set the stage for an influx of imitators, some better, some worse. One of the companies that joined the crowd was Pad & Quill, perhaps best known for its Contega series. Now, though, it has a new, slightly cheaper Author Series case available for the iPad Air. We'll put it through the ringer to see how well it holds up.
Pad and Quill releases new Author Series cases for iPad Air
Pad and Quill has announced its release of five new designs of bindery- and artisan-patterned cloth cases for iPad Air. Part of the Author Series, the new commissioned artwork designs are created by Tamarah Ryan and Will Bowe, local artists to the production site of the cases (St. Paul, Minnesota).
Notchbook for iPad Air features space for easy holding
Accessory maker Chil has introduced its Notchbook iPad Air folio today, offering its users a heavy grip and the ability to slide a hand through its sleeve portion. Intended for the iPad Air, the Notchbook is compatible with many other tablets of broadly-comparable dimensions. Featuring a platform that rotates 360 degrees, the Notchbook folio doubles as a stand for comfortable table viewing.
Spots based on recent 'Your Verse' commercial
Apple has begun airing two new TV ads for the iPad Air. Dubbed "Light Verse" and "Sound Verse," the spots are shortened, 30-second versions of "Your Verse," a 90-second ad that premiered last week. Intermixed with the earlier ad's content is some original imagery.
Regional store now offering in-store pickup, celebrates with sale
Buyers who live on the east coast or midwestern parts of the US may be able to score themselves a discounted iPad with savings up to $60 on brand-new models. Regional retail H. H. Gregg is offering the savings at all of its 228 retail locations thanks to the arrival of the iPad for in-store pickup, an expansion of its existing relationship with Apple. Until February 1, customer can save $60 on a 64GB iPad Air, and $40 on the 16GB and 32GB versions. The iPad mini models are offered with a $20 discount over normal retail price.