Apple announces NTT DoCoMo version of iPad coming to Japan June 10th

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An Apple press release published today announced the impending availability of the iPad on Japan’s NTT DoCoMo carrier. According to the release, both the iPad Air and iPad mini will be available on the largest Japanese carrier on June 10th. The carrier has supported the iPhone since late 2013.

Both tablets will work with the DoCoMo LTE network. The company’s iPad LTE plans are already listed on its website, though you won’t actually be able to buy the device just yet. Both models will be available for pre-purchase on June 2nd, the same day Apple will be kicking off its Worldwide Developers Conference.

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KGI: Every new iOS device this year will be equipped with Touch ID, sensors to be more durable

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KGI research has published a new report that claims Apple will incorporate its Touch ID fingerprint sensor into all new iOS devices launched in 2014. This includes both new iPhone models, and the next versions of the full-size iPad an its ‘mini’ counterpart.

The note also states that Touch ID sensor shipments will increase by 233% this year, which would certainly make sense if the technology was going to be added to so many new devices. According to the report, these new sensors will be made more durable than the current version through the use of tin:

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Apple plans to match Microsoft Surface with split-screen iPad multitasking in iOS 8

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iOS 8 is likely to supercharge the functionality of Apple’s iPad with a new split-screen multitasking feature, according to sources with knowledge of the enhancement in development. These people say that the feature will allow iPad users to run and interact with two iPad applications at once. Up until now, each iPad application either developed by Apple or available on the App Store is only usable individually in a full-screen view.

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Apple reportedly planning massive Q3 rollout for iWatch, iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV updates

 

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KGI Research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a timeline indicating that Apple is planning a massive rollout for multiple new products in Q3 2014. According to the Kuo, the only thing we can expect to see in the first half of the year is a small iMac update. Starting at the end of the third quarter and continuing into the beginning of the fourth, however, Apple will update most of its product lineup: iPad Air and mini, the Apple TV, and the MacBook family.

Two new products reportedly planned for this timeframe are the iWatch, which Kuo says will be available in two different sizes, and the long-rumored 4.7-inch iPhone. The 5.5-inch iPhone that was reportedly delayed due to manufacturing issues with the display is said to be coming near the end of Q4, making it the last release for this year. Read more

Review: Bose Soundlink III portable Bluetooth speaker — is bigger best?

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I was a huge gushing fan of the Bose Soundlink Mini when I reviewed it this summer, calling it the “Best Sounding portable Bluetooth speaker ever”. For $199 you’d get bookshelf type of power and clarity with 6 hour battery in a portable package that you could throw in a coat pocket, bag, or purse.

This week, Bose started shipping a bigger version, the $299 Soundlink 3 which is officially the successor to the Soundlink 2 but it grabs a lot more technology, features and appearance from the very successful Mini.  The big bro ‘III’ boasts an impressive 14-hour battery, 6 Bluetooth device memory, and doubles the Mini with four drivers and two passive radiators. In the process it doubles in size to a 3-pound package that isn’t nearly as portable as the Mini at 5 inches high, 10 inches wide, and 2 inches deep.

But does that $100 and double size give you appreciably better sound?

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Review roundup: The Retina iPad mini verdict is ‘pricey but best small tablet ever’

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A Retina display may have been some time coming on the iPad mini, but the general verdict appears to be that it was worth the wait.

Many are querying the price, especially now that the full-size iPad Air is so much smaller and lighter than its predecessors, and costs just $100 more. But if portability is key, reviewers seem every bit as impressed by the iPad mini as I was by the Air.

Read on for the conclusions from five early reviews …  Read more

Apple Store comes back online with Retina iPad mini, exclusive holiday offers

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The iPad mini with Retina display went on sale through the Apple Online Store early Tuesday morning in an uncharacteristically soft launch. The news was prefaced by an internal memo that leaked from Apple’s GSX tool. The device is available in the United States, Australia, China (no LTE models yet), Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, and Singapore.

The release comes at an unexpected time. Apple didn’t officially announce the release date ahead of time, saying only that the device would be available sometime this month. In fact, aside from a memo that was released to employees only hours before the tablet went live on the Apple Online Store, there was no indication that it would be released this week at all.

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High-res photos claim to show iPad 5 front panel

Sonny Dickson has posted decent-sized photos of what is claimed to be the front panel of the iPad 5.

The photos are consistent with what we’re all expecting: essentially a scaled-up iPad Mini, with thinner bezels on the sides. The refresh is also expected to use the same film-based touch panel as the Mini, replacing the glass layer in previous full-size iPads, reducing both thickness and weight. We posted photos of what is believed to be the rear casing back in January and the display panel earlier this month. Read more

Review: ZAGGkeys Mini 7 & Mini 9 keyboard cases for iPad mini (+50 percent off!)

ZAGG, an accessory maker that first received a lot of attention for its super-tough invisibleShield screen protector, these days also happens to be making some of the best iPad keyboards around. While ZAGG has big competition from the likes of Logitech and Belkin, its earlier folio and keyboard cover designs have been among our most recommended keyboards for iPad. ZAGG’s latest creations are not only its first dedicated to Apple’s smaller iPad mini, it’s also a new design for the company that helps set it aside from much of the competition.

The first thing that makes ZAGG’s iPad mini keyboards stand out is the company’s decision to sell two models: the ZAGGkeys Mini 7, and a slightly larger keyboard dubbed the Mini 9. ZAGG’s giving you the ability to get a keyboard only 10 percent smaller than a traditional Apple keyboard and built into a solid, good-looking iPad mini case, which something most of the other guys aren’t providing.

Unlike Logitech, Belkin, and others that have gone with the Microsoft Surface-style, magnetic, clip-on keyboard covers, the new Mini 7 and 9 go with a more traditional, folio case design.

First, a few things that are the same about the Mini 7 and Mini 9: Read more