iOS 6 Beta 2 roundup: Here’s what’s new

Earlier today, Apple released a new iOS 6 beta to developers, introducing the usual “bug fixes and improvements”. Below is a list of all the new buttons and changes we’ve found so far. If you happen to spot any more, send them our way at tips@9to5mac.com.

The first thing you’ll see when installing beta 2 is actually a change that was technically made in beta 1: when installing an OTA update, the cogs in the Settings icon on the Software Update page spin (not the ones on the actual home screen, though).

Check out even more changes after the break. Read more

iFixit tears down the new MacBook Pro’s Retina display, an ‘engineering marvel’

They first took apart the new Retina MacBook Pro and called it the “least repairable laptop” ever, but today our friends at iFixit took apart the device’s most impressive new component: its Retina Display. Here is what they found:

The Retina display is an engineering marvel. Its LCD is essentially the entire display assembly. Rather than sandwich an LCD panel between a back case and a piece of glass in front, Apple used the aluminum case itself as the frame for the LCD panel and used the LCD as the front glass. They’ve managed to pack five times as many pixels as the last model in a display that’s actually a fraction of a millimeter thinner. And since there’s no front glass, glare is much less of an issue.

The major downside to the design noted in the report: the LCD is not replaceable. It is attached to the entire assembly, so this means you will likely have to replace the entire assembly if something goes wrong. It also noted that getting into the display is quite difficult, claiming, “Obliterating the front panel of the display was the only way to get it out.” Some highlights:

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Developer gets iOS 6 Maps with Flyovers and turn-by-turn running on iPhone 4

With the introduction of iOS 6 this fall, many iOS users will be left out on some of the new operating system’s flagship features. We already covered Apple’s official list of compatibility for iOS 6 features, and by far one of the most disappointing for iPhone 4 users was the news that they would not have access to the Flyover and turn-by-turn navigation features in Apple’s new in-house Maps app. Today, we have news from Russian website iGuides (via SlashGear) that iOS developer Anton Titkov found a way to get Apple’s new 3D maps up and running on the iPhone 4:

After yesterday’s release of jailbreak iOS 6 developer, well known to all users iGuides Anton Titkov (iTony) decided to dig a little bit in the new firmware, and became the first man in the world, who managed to get working 3D card on the iPhone 4. New tweak from Anton Titkova called 3DEnabler , and at the moment we can confidently say that it adds support for 3D cards on the “old” devices, but it is possible that the “unavailable” Turn-by-turn navigation will be defeated by our talented developer.

iGuides offers instructions for the hack on its website, while another video of 3DEnabler running on iPhone 4 is below:
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New MacBook Pro with Retina display shipping in ’2-3 weeks’ [Video + Photos]

Update: Apple’s website is now listing the Retina MacBook Pros as available in “3-4 weeks”.

Apple’s updated MacBook Pro with Retina display made a huge splash at yesterday’s opening keynote for the Worldwide Developers Conference, but droves of Mac-lovers will have to wait a few weeks before they can get their eager paws on one of these divine notebooks.

Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller noted the super-high resolution MacBook Pro would ship immediately while on stage at WWDC, but those taking a peak at Apple’s online store today will find a “2-3 weeks” shipping notice listed under the 15-inch Retina-optimized computers

The delay in shipping is likely due to high demand, but CNET pondered the alternative reasons:

It’s not immediately clear if the delay is due to miscommunication, a shipping snag, or simply that the first batch has sold out. In previous Apple launches, the company has promised a particular shipping time, only to find that the first group of units sell out, forcing it to modify the timetable for future orders.

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Retina Mac apps begin appearing in App Store ahead of Apple’s WWDC unveiling

As noted by The Next Web, at least one developer has updated its Mac App Store app to include high-resolution “Retina graphics” for the new lineup of Retina display Macs that we revealed last month (here and here).

The Mac App Store app is Folderwatch. It was updated today with several new features, one of which is “Retina graphics.” We are not ready to speculate that the developers know something we do not, but Apple obviously allowed the update. It is likely we will begin to see Mac Apps updated with high-resolution artwork leading up to Apple’s introduction of Retina Macs at the Worldwide Developers Conference next week.

Some have pointed to the unusually high number of to-be-announced sessions on the WWDC schedule as proof of the introduction of a new app platform, but we noted that many of these sessions could relate to Retina Mac apps.

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Amazon Trade-In program conveniently now lists MacBook lineup, other laptops

Amazon’s Trade-In program now accepts laptops and netbooks, which means Mac users are eligible to swap their MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or MacBook before the upcoming refresh. How convenient—especially with the new MacBooks likely just weeks away from launch!

Starting today, those who are interested can visit www.amazon.com/tradein to search for electronics worth trading-in. After finding the item, click the Trade in button. After the trade-in submission is accepted, Amazon offers free shipping through UPS Ground or U.S. Postal Service to eliminate the headache and cost of the trade-in process. All items have to ship within seven days of submitting the transaction.

The online retailer deposits a Gift Card into the seller’s account after the deal finalizes. Unaccepted trade-ins either will receive a lower Gift Card amount or simply be returned. The return method adheres to the seller’s preference, which is selected upon completing the initial transaction online.

A quick glance through the MacBook price tags reveal an Apple MacBook Pro MD322LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop (NEWEST VERSION) for a trade-in value up to $1,230, while an Apple MacBook MC516LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (OLD VERSION) fetches a trade-in value up to $360. An Apple MacBook Air MC966LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (NEWEST VERSION) earns a trade-in value up to $74o. The amount offered per trade-in varies depending on the model and condition.

9to5Mac first reported earlier this month that Apple is prepping a new 15-inch MacBook Pro for this summer that features an ultra-thin design, a “jaw-dropping” Retina Display, and super-fast USB 3. Our sources also indicated the MacBook Retina Display will début at the Worldwide Developers Conference next month, but it will not stay exclusive to Apple’s Pro notebook. The first-class, high-resolution display is also coming to the MacBook Air family. Read more

iPhone goes prepaid in the US on Cricket starting June 22

Update: Apple commented on the move:

“By making iPhone available on pre-paid plans through Cricket Wireless, we are making the best smartphone more accessible to an even broader market in the US,” Apple representative Natalie Harrison said.

Apple took a big step today in the United States by aligning with Cricket prepaid Wireless. While you can buy an iPhone off-contract (for significantly more than the above Cricket prices), and then go on AT&T, T-Mobile, or any GSM carriers’ network, this is the first time Apple has let the iPhone play in the prepaid market.

Cricket’s monthly fee for unlimited anything (data throttled after 2.3GB) is $55 per month, which is very low for all things considered. You can also quit at any time, take months off, or trade phones. However, you need to buy the iPhone at an “unsubsidized rate.” But is it really unsubsidized?

What is interesting is that Cricket offers the iPhone 4 for $399 and iPhone 4S for $499. Look at Apple’s prices for unlocked iPhone 4S (iPhone 4 costs $549):

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There is a $150 gap somewhere. Perhaps Cricket is subsidizing some of the cost by thinking buyers will eventually make up that $150 difference in service fees. Apple may also offer Cricket a discount as it buys large quantities of iPhones, because Apple is hoping to spread its customer base.

We are not sure how many prepaid customers will shell out $400 to $500 up front for an iPhone. However, there are probably some jailbreaker/unlockers or otherwise who would like to take a Cricket iPhone and use it off-network (or without a network).

Sprint, which carries the iPhone, and owns two big prepaid networks in Virgin and Boost Mobile, will likely have an iPhone prepaid offering in the coming months too.

The press release follows: Read more

Report: Apple breaks records with production investments, but for what?

A new report this morning detailed Apple’s investment in equipment and machinery during the most recent quarter as record-breaking, which indicates the company is certainly up to something.

According to Asymco, Apple’s financial reports hint at even more future investments. The Cupertino, Calif.-based Company spent $1.3 billion in the last quarter, with another $2.5 billion needed over the next two quarters.

“Such numbers are hard to grasp. They are unprecedented not only for Apple but for almost any comparable company,” explained Asymco’s Horace Dediu.

The graph above illustrates the increase in quarterly spending for “machinery, equipment, and internal-use software.” So, what does Apple have in the works that requires so much machine-powered investments?

9to5Mac revealed today that the sixth-generation iPhone will have a 3.95-inch display at a 1,136-by-640-pixel resolution, and it will have a new dock connector. Of course, simply upgrading the iPhone does not explain Apple’s deep investment into production equipment.

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Rumor: 7-inch iPad coming in October for under $250?

Following yesterday’s report from DigiTimes claiming Apple had a new 7-inch iPad in the works for August, iMore’s Rene Ritchie today claimed Apple is actually targeting an October release, alongside the next iPhone. He also claimed his unnamed source said the device will launch for $200 to $300 and pack-in a Retina display and specs almost identical to the current iPads:

Apple will be going forward with the 7-inch iPad, currently targeting an October 2012 release alongside the new iPhone, and — here’s the killer — at a $200 to $250 price point… Our source has indicated, however, that the 7-inch iPad will be identical to the current 9.7-inch iPad, just scaled down. That seems to include a 2048×1536 resolution display, just like the new iPad. If accurate, that would put the pixel density at around 326 ppi, the same as the iPhone 4S (and higher than the 264 ppi new iPad) retina display.

Ritchie noted his source is not sure of the exact dimensions, but past rumors indicated a 7.85-inch size could work. According to the report, one way Apple will meet the low price point is to offer the new 7-inch iPad with just 8GB of storage. We are taking this report for what it is until we have some solid proof, but we know iMore’s Ritchie has been accurate with several Apple product launches in the past, including the third-gen iPad and iPhone 4S.

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T-Mobile TV ad compares iPhone 4S on AT&T to its 4G network

As part of its new “Alter Ego” ad campaign, T-Mobile posted the above TV commercial comparing the speed of the iPhone 4S on AT&T to devices on its 4G network. The carrier recently did a similar comparison when launching its Test Drive tool for comparing its 4G devices with the iPhone on other networks. In related news, yesterday we reported T-Mobile was preparing to rollout an iPhone-compatible 4G HSPA+ 19000 MHz network to various markets by the end of the year.

Although many thought the comparison of the 3G iPhone on AT&T to 4G Android devices on T-Mobile was unfair, Apple is rumored to launch a new LTE iPhone following the introduction of the new 4G iPad last March. Recent reports indicated Qualcomm was having trouble meeting demand for LTE chips likely to land in the next-gen iPhone, indicating T-Mobile will likely have to take a new approach to its ads come October.
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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

Expert: Apple settled for older display tech in new iPad, Sharp’s IGZO tech wasn’t ready

With the new iPad’s “resolutionary” 2048-by-1536-pixel Retina display, which is arguably the flagship feature of the device, it might be somewhat surprising to hear that Apple originally planned on using lighter, thinner display tech. This is according to display expert and President of DisplayMate Technologies Raymond Soneira who told CNET, “There’s no question that the iPad 3 is Plan B.”

He claimed Apple would have used Sharp’s IGZO tech for a thinner display assembly, but instead was forced to go with older, amorphous silicon that required a larger battery. The move could have accounted for some of the increased weight to 1.46 pounds and depth of .037 inch. Soneira explained:

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