‘iPad Air 2′ and ‘iPad mini 3′ with Touch ID & Burst Mode confirmed, show up early in iTunes

iPad-2-Air-Mini-3-leak

Apple’s iTunes Store has just made a little bit of a slip-up (and with perfect uncanny timing): screenshots for the iOS 8.1 iPad user guide have just appeared within iBooks and include Apple’s upcoming iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. Of course, Apple will be formally debuting these devices tomorrow.

The screenshots confirm that both new tablets will include nearly identical designs to their predecessors and the addition of Touch ID sensors in the Home button. Another new feature confirmed by this leak is a new Burst Mode (first introduced with the iPhone 5s) for the iPad Air 2 (image below).

These images also indicate that the new tablets will be named “iPad Air 2″ and “iPad mini 3,” which means that Apple will bringing the numbering scheme for names back to the iPad lineup. Of course, the presence of this user guide means iOS 8.1 (with Apple Pay) is likely to drop tomorrow, too.

Besides the tweaked designs and Touch ID sensors, a gold color option, and a stronger A8X processor, improved camera optics, and new software can be expected at least on the new Air. Apple will also discuss the Mac line tomorrow, including the new iMac with Retina display and OS X Yosemite.

Boom?

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Morgan Stanley adds AAPL to Best Ideas list for investors, citing high iPhone 6/Plus margins

aapl

Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty has added AAPL to its Best Ideas list of investments, saying that increased margins from iPhone 6 sales see the stock “set for significant upside.”

While Credit Suisse had earlier suggested that margins on the iPhone 6 would be lower than that of the iPhone 5s and 5c, Huberty says that numerous sources are suggesting that more people this time are opting for the middle storage tier, thus pushing up both average selling price and margins …  Read more

Macworld/iWorld conference going on hiatus, no event in 2015

Jobs introducing MacBook Air at Macworld 2008

Jobs introducing MacBook Air at Macworld 2008

Macworld has announced that its Macworld/iWorld conference is going on hiatus and no show will take place in 2015. The show was previously planned to take place in March, which was a bit later than the typical January/February timeframe.

Early Tuesday, IDG World Expo released a statement noting that the venerable Apple-oriented trade show, Macworld/iWorld would go on hiatus and not be held in 2015 as planned. The contents of that statement are: “We are announcing today that Macworld/iWorld is going on hiatus, and will not be taking place as planned in 2015. Our MacIT event, the world’s premiere event for deploying Apple in the enterprise, will continue next year with details to be announced in the coming weeks.

Year-after-year in the 2000s, the January Macworld conference was a staple for the Macworld community. Each year, Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs would hit the stage and introduce breakthrough products like the first iPhone, MacBook Air, and key software releases.

Since Apple cut off its affiliation with the conference in 2009, ahead of the 2010 non-Macworld iPad introduction, the conference has seen less attendees and excitement. Five years out from Apple no longer attending the conference, and just weeks after Macworld cut down its editorial staff to a bare minimum, today’s announcement is, unfortunately, not very surprising. Macworld’s magazine also recently came to an end.

The organization behind the conference, IDG, says that this is just a “hiatus,” so perhaps (hopefully) there will again be a time where the Macworld conference exists. The company’s MacIT enterprise focused event will still exist in 2015, according to the announcement.

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Microsoft latest to mimic Snapchat with new Skype Qik ephemeral video messaging app

Microsoft has just joined the ranks of companies looking to capitalize on the success of ephemeral messaging apps like Snapchat. Through its Skype division, the company has launched a new cross-platform app for iOS, Android, and (of course) Windows Phone called Skype Qik. The premise of the application, as can be seen in the video above and screenshots below, is simple: you can record a quick video, and then share it to either one person in your address book or multiple groups of people.

Differentiating itself from some of the other players, the Skype-based solution is video-focused, and Skype is positioning it as a communication tool for in between full-scale Skype video chats. Notably, the whole service is connected to your phone number and existing contacts list, so it doesn’t require signing up with a standard Skype account. If you send a message via Qik to a user without the Qik app, the other person will be sent an SMS text message with instructions for downloading the Qik app to view the video message. This app is based on the technology from startup Qik, which Skype acquired a few years ago.

By default, videos will expire after two weeks, and you can also un-send messages at any time. A cool feature of Skype Qik is the ability to pre-record various 5 second GIFs that you can send as instant replies. So, if you don’t have the ability to send a live video reply, you can just choose one of your pre-record defaults. The app is free today on the aforementioned platforms, and Microsoft says that updates, such as one for blocking iPhone contacts (that feature is available today on Android and Windows Phone), will come often to enhance the feature-set.

You can view some screenshots of the iPhone app in action below:

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Missing one-handed typing on your iPhone 6/Plus? One Handed Keyboard brings it back

keyboard

If you love your new iPhone 6/Plus but find yourself missing the convenience of one-handed typing, One Handed Keyboard may be the third-party keyboard for you. It’s a system-wide keyboard exactly the same size as the one on the older and smaller iPhones so everything will feel familiar. The “sliding over” keyboard method is what Samsung and LG have been using on their Phablets for years.

The keyboard can be switched between left- and right-handed use, and when you want to return to two-handed typing, just hold down the spacebar to expand it to full width …  Read more

Concept imagines iPad refresh with iPhone 6 design (Gallery)

Martin Hajek iPad render iPhone 6 style

With Apple preparing to show off an updated lineup of iPads on Thursday, designer Martin Hajek has asked the question “What if the new iPad’s were to borrow the design language from the iPhone6/6+?” on his site. As he has done in the past, Hajek has mocked up some remarkable 3D renderings of how the theoretical Apple devices could appear.

While the new iPads this year are expected to largely appear unchanged physically, the iPhone 6-style iPads in Hajek’s renderings adopt the protruding camera lens, flash, and antenna bands as well as the completely curved edges from the latest iPhones. Read more

GT Advanced court filings reveal $50M penalty Apple imposes for leaking product information

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Not much is known about Apple’s deals with its suppliers, but court filings by former sapphire supplier GT Advanced reveal that the contract included a $50M penalty for any leak of Apple product information, reports the Financial Times.

While the amount of the penalty clause may vary according to the size of the supplier, it seems likely that a substantial leak penalty is a standard condition of supplying product components to Apple – though the number of leaks over the iPhone 6 suggests that such penalties offer limited protection.

Contracts between Apple and its suppliers will undoubtedly be subject to strict non-disclosure agreements, but lawyers for GT Advanced are asking the court to allow details to be made public …  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:

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KGI: GTAT bankruptcy unlikely to have impact on Apple Watch, future of sapphire iPhones uncertain

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 11.03.36 PM

KGI has published a new report clarifying that the recent announcement that Apple’s sapphire supplier had filed for bankruptcy will likely have no impact on the production of the comapny’s sapphire display-equipped wearable. According to KGI, GT was mainly contracted to create the sapphire crystal displays for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

The reason Apple partnered with GT Advanced on the iPhone displays was related to the size of the screens. Because GT was the best equipped to manufacture a display the size of the new iPhone models. However, because the Apple Watch uses a smaller display, other companies are able to produce the covers as easily as GT. This is also why the Touch ID sensor and iPhone cameras, which both use a sapphire lens, will also be unaffected.

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Ex-Microsoft exec Ray Ozzie creates messaging iPhone app to ‘revolutionize’ voice calling

Ray Ozzie, who used to be Microsoft’s Chief Technical Officer and Chief Software Architect, has come out with a new app for the iPhone. In an extensive profile, Steven Levy explains the premise behind the app, dubbed Talko. You can read the full overview on Medium. The app has been in development for more than two years.

A new take on phone calls, the app shows if your recipient is currently walking or driving — giving a hint at attentiveness of the speaker before the conversation even begins. It’s a nice use of the Apple M7 and M8 coprocessors. Any voice communication is archived into the growing thread … to organize a conversation like any other modern chat app really. Talko seems best as an app for modern meetings, like a conference call replacement, although Ozzie insists it can be used beyond business.

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With stronger than expected demand for iPhone 6 Plus, Apple reportedly shifting some production away from iPhone 6

 

 

iphone6

Following some statistical analysis from yesterday that indicated the iPhone 6 usage ratio was beginning to favor iPhone 6 Plus, Digitimes now reports that Apple is following through on market shifts with production schedule adjustments.

Digitimes says that with iPhone 6 Plus exceeding expectations, Apple has asked the supply chain to move some production away from its 4.7 inch phone. This will mean that shipments for iPhone 6 will fall by 3-4 million units to accommodate the change in production lines.

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According to Apple, people have all but stopped upgrading to iOS 8

App-store-ios-8-marketshare

Apple’s iOS share numbers as tabulated by App Store visits are out for the first week of October and they are a “head scratcher”. iOS 8 gained only 1 point from 46% to 47%  since September 21st which should have well exceeded 1% gain by the millions of new iPhone 6/Plus shipments alone – even if not one person had updated their iPhone 5/s/c. Even more confusing is that the “Earlier” category of iOS 6 and before devices actually grew in percentage from 5% to 6% over the previous two week period.

It is possible some people downgraded to iOS 7 (which was an option until just after 8.0.2 was released) while others have stayed put on their current iOS version because of a succession of errors in rolling out iOS 8. Combined with the large amount of space required to do an over the air update, it appears that iOS users have all but stopped upgrading iOS –a marked departure from years past. Read more