Roundup: The best iPad, iPhone, Mac, iTunes, Beats, and other tech Black Friday deals

9to5toys-black-friday-2013-line

Black Friday can be absolutely overwhelming. Every retailer is vying for your attention and money. That’s why we’ve vetted each and every major Black Friday ad to find only the very best deals.

Remember, this master list was curated from pre-announced deals. We fully expect many retailers to hit us with surprise deals throughout the next week. That’s why it’s important you follow 9to5Toys on Twitter/Facebook, and sign-up for our email newsletter. The 9to5Toys team is going to be working around the clock to bring you the Black Friday deals you can’t afford to miss.

Continue on for the definitive Black Friday 2014 ‘Best Of’ list… Read more

Review: Pixelmator for iPad out now, a desktop-class photo editor for a mobile device

IMG_0081

Note: The app is still rolling out worldwide. Check back soon if the links don’t work for you!

Announced during Apple’s October event, Pixelmator for iPad ($4.99) is an important stepping stone in the iPad’s history. The Mac app is regularly featured by Apple as an exemplar app in the Mac App Store and it is clear Apple wants to use Pixelmator as a ‘trophy’ app in the same way. No doubt this app (aside from games) is one of a handful that will directly benefit from the A8X performance gains.

I tested the app on an iPad Air, although the app technically supports all the way back to iPad 3, even some operations on the Air felt slow. I would be a bit cautious if you intend to install it on one of Apple’s older tablets.

As a 1.0 release, the depth and breadth of this app is staggering. There are a myriad of effects, painting brushes, color adjustments and other features to help edit and create images. The vast majority of the Mac app’s functionality have been ported across to the iPad with a touch-friendly interface, including advanced editing options like layer styles. There are also some template options that aren’t currently included in the Mac app to appease the ‘Photo Booth’ selfie crowd.

Read on for 9to5Mac’s full review of Pixelmator for iPad …

Read more

Apple iPad Air 2 first look: Unboxing, benchmarks, and camera performance (Video)

ipad-air-2

Today we’re taking a look at Apple’s fastest and thinnest tablet to date. The iPad Air 2 is more than just a pretty shell. This tablet packs some decent performance over its predecessor. While we haven’t had enough time with it to put together a full review, there are some main points we wanted to go over.

First up, this thing is crazy thin. Apple wasn’t exaggerating when claiming that it was thinner than a pencil. It’s 18 percent thinner than the iPad Air measuring a mere 6.1mm in thickness. This may not be a good thing for everyone, but for the most part it was comfortable to hold while playing games, watching movies, or any other tablet-based task. I’d hate to sound redundant, but damn this iPad is thin. Anyway, let’s jump in and take a look…

Read more

Latest iPad Air 2 component leak shows A8X chip & 2GB RAM

A8X iPad

Following component leaks over the weekend purporting to show an A8X chip and Touch ID button destined for new iPads, additional photos re-published by blog apple.club.tw point to a closer look at the modified system-on-a-chip as well as what appears to be 2GB of RAM for application memory. The purported increase in RAM on the updated tablet would double that of the current generation iPad Air (and iPhone 6 for that matter) and make more more powerful multitasking on the device. Read more

Leaked A8X chip teases more powerful iPad Air 2 as Touch ID button appears

air

Ahead of next Thursday’s Apple event, new images purportedly showing parts for the new, full-sized iPad have emerged. Photos re-published by blog apple.club.tw show a full logic board for the new iPad Air as well as parts for the new Home button, glass screen cover, and audio control components. At first glance, the new iPad Air logic board does not reveal too much new, but adjusting the colors of the image shows a fairly unexpected addition: an A8X system-on-a-chip:

Read more

Vietnamese blog leaks iPad Air 2 pictures showing thinner chassis, Touch ID, missing mute switch

Vietnamese blog Tinhte.vn has pictures claiming to show the design of the new iPad Air, likely a dummy unit which acts as a reasonable portrayal of the device’s characteristics. Shown in white, the device is reportedley only 7 mm thin. This is almost the same depth as Apple’s latest iPhones, which measure 6.9 mm and 7.1 mm thin. As such, it also features the same recessed volume button style as the iPhone 6.

The leaks show the next generation iPad to be mostly identical to the current iPad Air, but with some notable changes. Aside from thinness, the iPad now features a ‘glass’ (likely sapphire) Touch ID home button to match previous rumors. Interestingly, the side shots of the device appear to lack a mute switch.

The blog speculates this was for space-saving reasons, meaning the mute switch (which can also be a rotation lock) was sacrificed in order for Apple to attain the desired thinness. Video below.

Read more

Logitech introduces new Type+ Bluetooth keyboard/case for iPad Air

protective-case-with-integrated-keyboardfor-ipad

Logitech today announced its latest case/Bluetooth keyboard combo with the new Type+ for iPad Air. Like many of its past products that we’ve reviewed, Logitech’s new keyboard puts a Bluetooth keyboard inside of a light protective case that provides protection on both sides of an iPad. It also said it’s made some big improvements to the keyboard over previous generations: Read more

Report claims next-gen iPad Air will double RAM amount to 2GB

iPad Air

A new report from Asian site TechNews.tw claims information from the Apply supply chain points to the next generation iPad Air doubling up on RAM from 1GB to 2GB. The additional memory would benefit system performance, especially during multitasking, when more memory-intesive tasks like browsing multiple websites in Safari and using other apps requires more RAM to function smoothly.

While most of the parts and component leaks out of the supply chain have centered around the next generation iPhone, which is expected to debut at an Apple event next month, the new report that the next generation iPad Air will double its memory follows a Bloomberg report earlier this month that new iPads with an anti-reflective coating over the display have entered production. Read more

Bloomberg says new iPads (with anti-reflective coating) go into production

Screenshot 2014-08-11 15.46.19

While most of the Apple-watching world has its sights focused on the next iPhone, Apple has put next-generation versions of the iPad into production. That’s according to Bloomberg News, which says that the new full-sized iPad Air model will be announced later this quarter or early next quarter and that the new 7.9-inch model will hit the market by the end of the year:

Read more

Claimed next-gen iPad Air rear shell photos show redesigned speaker, recessed volume controls

In June, photos of purported physical mockups for the next-generation iPad Air (the next full-sized iPad) appeared on the web showing a similar design to the current model, but with some tweaks. Closely mimicking the improved design, images posted to Weibo this weekend purport to show a next-generation iPad Air frame with a redesigned speaker, recessed volume controls, and a new microphone next to the camera lens (like on the latests iPhones and iPods).

The photos do not show us much else, but they do provide some additional confirmation that a new iPad Air is on its way, and that the new tablet will not look much different externally from the current generation. While the exterior will be mostly the same, customers can count on the next full-sized Apple tablet to rock the iPhone’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner and a faster A8 processor. The same Weibo poster of the above photos also recently shared an engineering diagram for the next iPhone:

Read more

Apple ‘tentatively’ plans mid-September iPhone event as iOS 8 nears completion

iPhone 6

Apple is gearing up for its first major hardware and software launches of 2014. The Cupertino-based company is “tentatively” planning a keynote address in mid-September to announce the iPhone 6 and provide final details on iOS 8, according to sources briefed on the plans.

These people say that the second and third weeks of September are the mostly likely weeks for the event to be held, but they add that manufacturing uncertainties could alter the event’s timeframe. A decision has not been finalized, and sources made it clear that the plans are in flux.

The event will showcase at least the new iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch screen, the sources say, but a final decision on debuting the larger, 5.5-inch “phablet” model at the event has not been made. The 4.7-inch variant of the new phone is farther along in both internal testing and manufacturing preparation, the sources added.

Read more