A day in the life of a cycle-touring holiday with Apple (and Garmin) tech

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Having just returned from a 12-day cycle-touring holiday (you missed me, right?), it occurred to me how much the activity has changed over the years. The basics are still the same, of course: turning the pedals makes the scenery pass slowly by, and by the end of the day you’re 40 or 50 miles away from where you had breakfast. But what used to be a very low-tech activity, involving little more than a paper map and compass, has now turned into something of a technofest – at least for me and a fellow geek friend who joined me. And my MacBook Air, iPad and iPhone are all integral parts of the trip …

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Review: TwelveSouth HoverBar 3 positions your iPad right where you want it

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There are times when an iPad can act as a handy sidekick to your Mac, but with a typical iPad stand you end up looking a little like a nodding dog as you look up at your monitor and down at your iPad. The TwelveSouth HoverBar 3 is designed to solve that, positioning your iPad display right next to your iMac or Apple Thunderbolt/Cinema Display.

The HoverBar can also be used on its own to position an iPad more comfortably, especially when using it to watch movies …  Read more

Apple extends education pricing to iPad, offering discounts of $20-30

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If you’re eligible for education pricing, iGeneration noticed that the discounts available on Macs through the Apple Store for Education have now been extended to iPads. The discounts are modest, ranging from $20 to $30, but it all helps.

Education pricing is available to pretty much everyone working or studying in higher education: students, faculty, staff – even parents of students – as well as employees of K-12 schools.

Discounted iPad prices for the base spec 16GB wifi models are:

  • iPad mini: $279 ($20 off)
  • iPad mini with Retina display: $379 ($20 off)
  • iPad Retina display (4th Gen): $379 ($20 off)
  • iPad Air: $469 ($30 off)

The discounts appear to be rolling out internationally, already available in some countries but not yet all.

If your college belongs to the Apple on Campus program, the same modest discounts on iPads appear to be available, in contrast to the significantly better discounts offered on Macs.

As always, we recommend tuning into 9to5Toys to find the absolute best prices on iPads and all other Apple gear. For example, we recently featured a 16GB iPad Air for $400 ($100 off), 16GB Retina iPad mini with LTE for $355 ($174 off), and a 64GB iPad mini (1st gen) for $349 (orig. $599).

 

Detailed iPhone 6 mockup compared to iPad Air, iPad mini, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 4s, and iPod touch (4K video)

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Lately, there has been a storm of rumored iPhone 6 images, renders, schematics, and videos. We’ve seen just about everything that the rumor mill has to offer at this point. All of the mockups that have been floating around may not match up with Apple’s official iPhone 6 design, but they are definitely convincing to an extent.

We recently put together a video comparing an iPhone 6 mockup to the iPhone 5s and fifth generation iPod touch, but what about Apple’s other iOS devices? In the video below, we compare this alleged iPhone 6 design to the iPad Air, iPad mini, iPhone 4/4s, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, and iPod touch. Hopefully this massive comparison will put an end to any other questions regarding the rumored iPhone 6 design, but based on the mockup units we’ve obtained the iPhone 6 is going to be a very large device and possibly feature a sharper 1704 x 960 resolution display.

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Despite court battles, Apple switches back to Samsung as main iPad display supplier

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The court battles between the two companies doesn’t seem to have harmed Samsung’s position as a key supplier of components to Apple. DisplaySearch figures show that Apple switched from LG to Samsung as the primary supplier of its display panels for iPad Air and iPad with Retina display last quarter, reports CNET.

Samsung Display reclaimed its position as the top iPad display panel supplier, shipping 5.2 million units of 9.7-inch panels with a resolution of 2,048×1,536, accounting for 62 percent of total shipments of that display size and resolution [...]

LG Display [...] saw its share of that display size/resolution plunge to 38 percent in the first quarter from about 61 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 …

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Review: Kensington Keyfolio Exact Plus backlit keyboard case for iPad Air

Having remarked that I don’t generally favor hiding iDevices in cases, I find myself reviewing the second iPad case in a week …

There’s no shortage of Bluetooth keyboards available for the iPad Air, and we previously did a roundup of some of the early contenders from Logitech, Belkin and ZAGG. However, only the ZAGG offered a backlit keyboard for use in the dark, so when Kensington joined the fray, I decided to give it a try …  Read more

Opinion: Will PC-like upgrade cycles keep iPad sales flat?

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Tim Cook may well be right that iPad sales didn’t really fall 16 percent year-on-year, and that the number was artificially deflated by reduced retail inventories. It’s also true that it’s been the fastest-growing product line in Apple’s history, and his argument that its success in education will drive future demand also has merit.

But this chart from Business Insider tells a story that can’t be denied: the overall trend is for flat iPad sales.

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Review: Otterbox Defender protective case for iPad Air

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I don’t generally like to hide away my iDevices inside cases, but there are some environments where this is at least strongly advisable – and the basket of a hot-air balloon is definitely one of those. In anything but still air, a landing tends to involve the basket being dragged across the ground – and much as you try to secure things, there’s always the risk of loose items taking a fall. Which can get expensive when one of those loose items is an iPad Air.

iPads are the perfect navigation device in a hot-air balloon as you need to simultaneously reference three different types of maps. An airspace map, showing the areas you can’t fly into without risking an A380 bearing down on you (followed shortly afterwards by the aviation licensing authority). A land map to show the ground detail you need for navigation and landing purposes. And finally, a map showing Sensitive Areas (SAs) where landowners request that you either don’t land or overfly above a specified altitude (generally 500 or 1000 feet) to avoid disturbing cattle, dogs and so on.

An iPad provides a moving map combining all three types of data in a single view. But with bumpy landings a fact of life, it would be a braver man than I to risk using a naked iPad. I thus decided to look around at the protective cases available, and having been impressed by the Otterbox Defender iPhone case, tried out the version for the iPad Air …

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Next-gen iPad Air front panel with integrated display reportedly shown in leaked photos

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New photos that reportedly show the front panel of a next-generation iPad Air have surfaced. Originally shared by One More Thing, the front panel appears to have an integrated display. This notable change could result in an even thinner iPad Air, or leave room for Apple to rework the hardware and add additional components.

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Latest ‘Your Verse’ story shares how a Bollywood choreographer captures inspiration with the iPad

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After showcasing how athletes and coaches have been able to utilize the iPad by determining concussions sooner as a part of its ‘Your Verse’ campaign last month, Apple has updated its home page and iPad microsite to tell the story of how the iPad is helping one choreographer find inspiration for his passion…

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Will Apple extend sapphire screens to iPads, even at a cost to its margins? [Poll]

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While it’s not yet certain that the iPhone 6 screen will get a sapphire layer, that’s certainly the way things look at present – providing a screen that is pretty much impervious to scratches (though no more resistant to breakage).

The problem with sapphire is it’s about ten times as expensive as Gorilla Glass. There have been vague suggestions that new manufacturing techniques might narrow the gap, but it still seems likely that Apple will have to sacrifice a bit of margin to introduce the material.

That’s likely a cost the company can afford, given the marketing benefit of an effectively scratchproof screen. But will we also see sapphire screens on iPads … ?  Read more

Opinion: Does CarPlay go far enough, or should car manufacturers let Apple do more?

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CarPlay is undoubtedly a big step in the right direction. Instead of car manufacturers using their own clunky user-interfaces to give you access to things like phone calls and music, there is now a standard, Apple-designed interface.

This makes perfect sense. Apple is the king of user-interface design, and most car manufacturers, well, aren’t. There was a time when I was driving a lot of rental cars and got to experience a whole bunch of different in-car screen systems, and they ranged in usability from halfway ok to downright dreadful. None offered anything close to the simplicity and clarity of CarPlay.

The question I have about CarPlay is: does it go far enough … ?
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