Apple releases iOS 8.1.1 w/ bug fixes & performance improvements for iPad 2, iPhone 4s

iOS 8.1.1Apple has released iOS 8.1.1, a minor update to last month’s iOS 8.1 release for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The public release for iOS 8.1.1 follows a beta release to members of Apple’s developer program. Last month Apple released iOS 8.1 which introduced Apple Pay support for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users as well as the iCloud Photo Library public beta.

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Apple re-introduces fourth-generation iPad in 16 GB model starting at $399, discontinues iPad 2

ipad2

Earlier today, we predicted that Apple had plans to bring the previously-released fourth-generation iPad back into production to replace the aging iPad 2. As expected, the fourth-gen iPad is now available once again on Apple’s website, this time with only a 16 GB capacity.

Aside from offering the single capacity choice, there aren’t any changes to the device. This model replaces the iPad 2, which has been around since the days of the 30-pin connector. The newer version includes Apple’s custom dual-core A6X processor, a 5 MP iSight camera, and 1.2 MP FaceTime camera. (Press release below:)

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Apple cuts prices again on refurbished iPads

From 9to5Toys.com:

Apple this morning dropped prices across the board on iPads in its refurbished section of the online Apple Store as noted by MacRumors. We’ve recently seen quite a bit of iPad price reductions at 9to5Toys, some even steeper than this. For instance, Walmart has a new iPad mini for $80 off and refurb iPad Mini 16GB for $250. The new Apple Store prices:

iPad mini

- 16 GB Wi-Fi: $279, down from $299 previously and $329 brand-new
– 32 GB Wi-Fi: $359, down from $389 previously and $429 brand-new
– 64 GB Wi-Fi: $439, down from $489 previously and $529 brand-new

- 16 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $389, down from $429 previously and $459 brand-new
– 32 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $469, down from $519 previously and $559 brand-new
– 64 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $549, down from $619 previously and $659 brand-new

Fourth-generation iPad

- 16 GB Wi-Fi: $419, down from $449 previously and $499 brand-new
– 32 GB Wi-Fi: $499, down from $549 previously and $599 brand-new
– 64 GB Wi-Fi: $579, down from $649 previously and $699 brand-new

- 16 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $529, down from $579 previously and $629 brand-new
– 32 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $609, down from $679 previously and $729 brand-new
– 64 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $689, down from $779 previously and $829 brand-new

Good news for those interested in displays too: Thunderbolt and Cinema Displays are down to $799 (a $30 drop).You know what this usually means…

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Live from IFA: Hands on with LifeProof’s nüüd waterproof iPad case

LifeProof already made a splash with its water, dirt, snow, and shockproof cases for iPhone 4 and 4S ($54). Today, at the ShowStoppers IFA event in Berlin, we were able to get our hands on LifeProof’s latest creation: an iPad version of the popular Nüüd case. If you are unfamiliar, the Nüüd cases feature no screen protection (although there is now an optional display cover that doubles as a stand), but it instead protects your iPad from the elements by creating a seal around the perimeter of the display. The case is currently available for iPad 2 and 3 through the LifeProof website and bundled with the screen protector/stand for €127.53 ($160 USD). Go past the break for another video demo of the Nüüd case ‘skinny dipping’ (being submerged in water).

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You can now buy an iPad from the Apple Store for $279 and an iPad 2 for $319

From 9to5Toys.com:

Apple today lowered the prices of its refurbed iPads across the board. The Original iPad 16GB Wifi is now down to just $279.  Meanwhile, iPad 2s are down to starting a base price of just $319, a price drop of $30 over previous $349 clip.  Higher capacity iPads are dropped as low as $50 over prices set when Apple debuted the new iPad in March.

One reason for a drop could be Apple’s move to a “new iPad 2″ with increased battery life due to its more efficient processor which may be worth more than a $50 premium at #499.

It is going to be hard to find an excuse not to get mom that white iPad 2 now, isn’t it?

MacRumors has the full list of reductions,  below. Read more

Foxconn workers in Brazil threaten strike over working conditions

Following audits and a major overhaul of workers’ rights at Foxconn factories in China, a report from newspaper Jornal de Jundiai (via Evertiqclaimed 2,500 workers at a Foxconn plant in Jundiai, Brazil are threatening to strike if the company does not meet their demands by May 3. The plant in Jundiai is currently responsible for the assembly of some of Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPad 2 units:

Newspaper Jornal de Jundiai reports that workers at the plant will strike if issues surrounding severe water shortages, food, and transportation of employees are not resolved… In a statement the United Steelworkers of Jundiaí and Region said workers decided to give 10 days (from the Monday) for the company to resolve the issues raised in a meeting on Monday… According to the report by Jornal de Jundiai, a spokesman from the union said that lack of water as well as poor quality food was an issue for workers. As the number of employees at the plant grows, workers also complain that the infrastructure for transport has remained the same size, causing overcrowding in buses. Read more

Benchmarked: New iPad’s A5X vs iPad 2’s A5 vs Tegra 3

At the launch of Apple’s third-gen iPad, the company’s Marketing Chief Phil Schiller claimed the device’s new A5X processor with quad-core graphics provided up to 4x the graphics performance of NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 chip. Schiller also claimed the new chip provided 2x the graphics performance of the iPad 2’s A5 chip. NVIDIA was skeptical of the benchmark data behind the claims, but early benchmarks seemed to show A5X outperforming a Transformer Prime running Tegra 3 in the majority of tests.

New benchmark data provided by IGNshows the iPad 2’s A5 chip outperforming both the A5X and Tegra 3 with the A5X’s improved graphics going largely toward powering the new iPad’s high-resolution Retina display of 3.1 million pixels. The A5X shows a significant increase in performance over iPad 2 and Tegra 3 devices only when the chip is not forced to power the Retina display in “off-screen” benchmarks.

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Why does the new iPad continue charging after it hits 100 percent?

Since the launch of the third-generation iPad, Dr. Raymond Soneira, president of DisplayMate Technologies Corporation, has put the device through its paces testing just about every aspect of its “resolutionary” new Retina display. The lengthy report provided a detailed comparison of the new iPad’s display versus the iPad 2 and iPhone 4.

In a running time time of the new iPad’s battery, Dr. Soneira found its “batteries do not actually reach full charge when 100% is shown,” and noted up to an extra hour of charging is required before reaching full capacity. We already discovered that the third-generation iPad’s new 42.5-watt-hour battery takes considerably longer to charge than the iPad 2—up to several hours. One explanation suggested is that Apple is trying to shorten the amount of time people think it takes to charge to line up with iPad 2 expectations. Soneira found the new iPad running no applications at maximum brightness lasted for 5.8 hours in comparison to the iPad 2 at 7.2 hours.

He did not go into detail about his findings in the report, but Soneira provided an explanation of the charging issue below:

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iPad 2 & iPod touch up to $50 off, Target offering $25 off iPhones on contract

According to an in-store iPhone advertisement in at least one Target location in Orlando, the store is offering $25 off the 8GB iPhone 4 and both the 16GB and 32GB iPhone 4S models until the end of the month. A tipster sent the image above showing the deal is offered for upgrades or on a new two-year contract available through AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint depending on your location.

(Thanks L. Nielsen!)

We are also noticing some of the best prices ever on iPad 2s. When Apple dropped the price of the iPad 2 by $100 (now starting at $399) after the introduction of the new iPad, retailers immediately started slashing prices even further on the last-generation device. We already saw the 16GB entry-level iPad 2 go for as low as $360, and today 9to5Toys pointed us to a 32GB model in white or black for $449 from Go4Computers through eBay Daily Deal. That deal includes free shipping and no tax (outside Florida), and the same goes for the 8GB iPod touch, which is usually $199 but now goes for $169.

If you live close enough to swing by a local Micro Center, it is currently offering the 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad 2 for $359.99.
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Consumer Reports: New iPad hits 116 degrees running games,’very warm but not especially uncomfortable’

Earlier today, we reported that the “heatgate” controversy was starting to pick up media attention with Consumer Reports announcing it is officially investigating the issue. Consumer Reports has now published its report claiming the new iPad “can run significantly hotter than the earlier iPad2 model when running an action game.” In fact, its tests with a thermal imaging camera found the new iPad could hit 116 degrees, which is much hotter than 92.5 Fahrenheit recorded in earlier GL benchmark tests. The tests were conducted with LTE turned off and Wi-Fi running.

Consumer Reports explained:
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Review: 24 hours with the new iPad…

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My new iPad came to my door while I was filming the long lines at New York’s Grand Central and 5th Avenue stores yesterday. I got home around 2 p.m., and I have since played with it almost non-stop. Here are my first impressions:

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