Apple October 23rd event: What we know, expect and some new tidbits

Had you heard? Apple’s got a ‘little’ event going on at the newly-decorated California Theatre tomorrow where they will FINALLY showcase the iPad Mini, new Mac Minis, a Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro as well as software like iBooks 3.0 and iTunes 11.

First, the bad news: We’ve heard that the some of the iMacs that we found earlier have been pushed so far back that they might not warrant inclusion at the event this week. That doesn’t mean they are cancelled but because there have been some issues with the products and the including them is a “gameday decision”. We’re obviously hoping they make the docket.

And now the good news: Read more

4490 mAh iPad Mini battery is almost exactly 3X size of iPhone and 1/3 of the iPad

If the 16.7Whr/4490 mAh iPad Mini battery images that MacRumors reported last night are authentic, it would place the power at almost exactly three times more than the iPhone 5′s 5.45Whr and one-third of the massive 42.5Whr battery of the third-generation iPad. Seems pretty logical.

The battery runs at 3.72 volts, and it shows a model number of A1445 and an Apple part number of 616-0641.

.

iPhone 5 scores ‘low concern’ in chemical analysis of 36 smartphones

Together, with HealthyStuff.org, our friends at iFixit have just completed a chemical analysis of 36 smartphones, including the iPhone 5 and previous generations of the device. Each device was ranked from 0 to 5 (with 0 being best) based on a number of common hazardous materials including lead, bromine, and mercury. In the image above, we see a breakdown on which components of the iPhone 5 have the highest concentration of those chemicals. The findings show Apple is making good in its commitment to greatly reduce harmful chemicals in its products, with the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 ranking significantly better than previous generations. For instance, the iPhone 2G lands itself at the bottom of the list with a “high concern”—not far from Nokia’s N95.

The iPhone 4S was able to outrank the iPhone 5; indicating Apple was not able to significantly reduce hazardous chemicals in the new device. However, all iPhone models were behind the Motorola Citrus—a device Motorola specifically markets as an eco-friendly option. While iPhone 4S came in second behind Citrus, the inexpensive LG Remarq and Samsung Captivate were able to beat out the iPhone 5. When it comes to Apples’ biggest competitors, such as Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S III and higher-end devices from HTC, the iPhone 4/4S/5 all outrank the competition.

As noted by iFixit, each year only about 8 percent of the 130 million discarded cellphones make it to proper recycling facilities. With Apple likely to build a 100 million new iPhones in the year to come, Apple’s commitment to make the “most environmentally responsible products in our industry” is certainly an important one.

iFixit explained the method used to rank the phones:

Read more

T-Mobile unveils its big Sept. 12 plans for iPhone: ‘Bring your unlocked iPhone and save $1200 vs. AT&T’

T-Mobile announced a huge new “unlimited and unlocked iPhone” initiative today that will launch Sept. 12—a date that should ring a bell. The nation’s fourth-largest carrier does not and will not officially carry the iPhone, but its parent company carries the iPhone all over Europe and was even the original carrier in its home Germany. The biggest issue with T-Mobile USA and the iPhone is that T-Mobile’s 3G/4G bands are incompatible with Apple’s iPhone hardware. Therefore, a million plus iPhone users are kept to EDGE 2.5G speeds, which seemed to work O.K. for the original iPhone, but five years have passed since it first launched and expectations have largely risen.

Today’s announcement is a big one for T-Mobile and will be accompanied by a large marketing push. T-Mobile claims —and the math seems to work— that it will save users $50 a month over similar AT&T plans. The total savings amount equals $1,200 over the life of a two-year contract.

T-Mobile will have a store-within-a-store for iPhone users who want to make the hop. Trained T-Mobile salespeople will be able to instruct users on unlocking, but they will not physically open the devices. This is an unprecedented move…especially for a device that T-Mobile does not officially carry.

Getting your hands on an unlocked device is pretty easy and will probably get a lot easier over the next weeks as the new iPhone is announced. Apple has offered the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S unlocked almost since it released last year and you can currently snap up a new one at eBay for about $580.

T-Mobile has some more good news for prospective iPhone customers today: Remember the iPhone-compatible 1900MHz network it demo’ed at WWDC? That same 1900MHz 4G network is rolling out in Seattle, Las Vegas, Washington, DC, and the New York metro area currently (readers? sightings?).

Even better: T-Mobile’s tests of unlocked iPhone 4S devices running over 4G (HSPA+) on its 1900 band have recorded 70 percent faster average download speeds than iPhone 4S on AT&T’s network. We will wait for neutral parties to review before judging and, obviously, LTE is coming for the iPhone 5, which T-Mobile expects will run on its network.

However, the best part might be the company behind the network. T-Mobile allows its customers to make and receive calls over Wi-Fi when there is no network on their smartphones. The iPhone is no exception. T-Mobile has the Bobsled app for iPhone for making calls. This is fantastic not only when in low -service areas but also when travelling abroad. T-Mobile will release other apps soon for things like live TV, account management and visual voicemail.

We’re also developing iOS versions of helpful T-Mobile applications like T-Mobile myAccountT-MobileVisual Voicemail and T-Mobile TV (we already offer an iOS version of our popular Bobsled application).

For those thinking about making the jump, remember that T-Mobile is not an official carrier and things like the following may apply:

Also, AT&T offers customers a chance to request a device unlock for their iPhone. The main requirements are that the device is an AT&T iPhone and all contract and term commitments are satisfied before submitting a request. The carrier can take up to a week to process a request, and it “reserves the right to deny any unlock request that it concludes would result in an abuse of this policy or is part of an effort to defraud AT&T or its customers.” AT&T further said it could “alter this unlocking policy at its discretion without advance notice.”

Check out AT&T’s Customer Device Unlock page for more information.

The full press release follows: Read more

Will the next-gen iPhone feature an upgraded camera system?

In the lead up to Apple’s Sept. 12 media event, where most expect the next-generation iPhone to be unveiled, there are still some things —believe it or not— that we don’t know about the device. The new iPhone is rumored to sport a longer, four-inch display, a smaller dock connector, an overall thinner design, updated RAM, and other internal components. But we have not heard much about the camera, which is one of the most important parts of any smartphone.

There is some evidence that Apple has now centered the FaceTime camera, such as the next-generation iPhone backs that we posted in May, and Apple seems to be moving toward FaceTimeHD, but we also expect the device’s rear camera to receive an upgrade over the previous-generation iPhone 4S.

While the iPhone 4S introduced a redesigned 5 lens camera system with a new sensor and 8-megapixels, the game has definitely been stepped up with a number of camera-related product announcements from Sony, Nokia, Motorola and Samsung. If the next-generation iPhone’s camera is to keep its lead with the most recent devices announced by these manufacturers, Apple is likely planning an improved camera system for the ‘iPhone 5′.
Read more

Photoshop/Lightroom will get Retina update this Fall says Adobe (Update)

Adobe just announced on its blog that Photoshop CS6 would recieve a Retina update this fall:

The Photoshop and Lightroom teams are pleased to announce we will provide support for HiDPI displays in the coming months, including the Retina Display available on the new MacBook Pro. Supporting this new technology requires significant work by our product teams and we’re committed to provided a free update to all Photoshop CS6 customers this Fall and Lightroom 4 as soon as the work is complete. Please note that Creative Cloud members will receive Photoshop updates more frequently and receive this update in advance of updates for non-members. While Photoshop,Photoshop Touch and Lightroom will be joining Adobe Ideas in their support of HiDPI Retina Displays, Photoshop Elements will not fully support HiDPI displays in the immediate future however the team is investigating the effort required to support these new displays.

We are also hard at work on some new features that will be rolling out to Creative Cloud members in the coming months. Stay tuned for more details.

For additional background and information on other Adobe software products, please read this blog post.

Thanks for your patience as we work to ensure the quality of our products meet your expectations.

Adobe Creative Cloud is still $29 per month for a limited time.

Update: Adobe has detailed that Retina support will also be coming to the following software around the same time:

Read more