Apple debuts iPad mini: 7.9-inch, 7.2mm thick, 10-hour battery life, starting at $329

Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Philip Schiller is now live on stage at the company’s special media event in California, and he just unveiled the new iPad mini.

“The iPad mini is every inch an iPad,” announced Schiller.

The iPad mini is the much-rumored smaller tablet from Apple, and it just debuted at 7.9 inches and .68 pounds.

“It’s as light as a pad of paper,” Schiller added.

The new Apple-branded tablet boasts a 1,024-by-768-pixel resolution, like the previous-generation 9.7-inch iPad models, but it has a 7.2mm-thick aluminum shell that is 53 percent lighter and 23 percent thinner. The iPad mini also has a dual-core Apple A5 processor, a 5-megapixel iSight camera, 802.11n Wi-Fi, LTE capability, Lightning connector, and a 10-hour battery life. The base model

Full iPad mini specs:

  • Comes in Wi-FI and Wi-Fi+ Cellular models
  • 7.2mm thick— 23 percent thinner, “as thin as a pencil,” etc.
  • 53 percent lighter, 0.68 lbs, “as light as a pad of paper,” etc.
  • Colors: black with slate, white with silver
  • 7.9-inch diagonal
  • Exact same pixels as previous-generation iPad: 1,024-by-768—all software works unchanged 
  • 163 pixels per inch (ppi)
  • Bezels: made of aluminum, where as Android is plastic (Schiller comparing iPad mini to Nexus 7)
  • FaceTime HD camera: 1.2MP photos, 720p HD video, FaceTime video calling over Wi-Fi or cellular, Face detection, Backside illumination
  • 5MP iSight camera: 5MP photos, Autofocus, Face detection, Backside illumination, Five-element lens, Hybrid IR filter, ƒ/2.4 aperture
  • Video recording: 1080p HD video recording, Video stabilization, Face detection, and Backside illumination
  • 802.11a/b/g/n, Ultrafast LTE wireless
  • Battery: Built-in 16.3-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery, charging via power adapter or USB to computer system, 10 hours of battery life (ad: “largest and thinnest single-cell battery we have ever designed”)
  • Dual-core A5
  • Lightning connector, 3.5-mm stereo headphone minijack, built-in speaker, microphone
  • Supports AirPlay Mirroring to Apple TV (second and third-generation) at 720p and AirPlay video streaming to Apple TV (third-generation) at up to 1080p and Apple TV (second-generation) at up to 720p
  • Get more details at Apple’s website.

Go to 9to5Mac’s full coverage of the iPad mini for more information on pricing and availability.

An image gallery is below.

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Apple planning fixes for keyboard glitch, Wi-Fi, Passbook bug, & Exchange in iOS 6.0.1 update?

According to a report from BGR, a reliable source informed it that Apple has begun testing iOS 6.0.1 with U.S. carriers in anticipation of a release in the coming weeks. Also mentioned in the report is a list of fixes apparently included in the update that address many of the issues users have complained about since the launch of iOS 6. Among them is a fix for the horizontal glitches that some have experienced in the iOS keyboard and folders and a number of other bug fixes for recently reported problems.

The report said the update would also bring a fix for issues with cellular data, improved Wi-Fi, as well as “a problem with the camera’s flash not going off.” Other fixes Apple will release with iOS 6.0.1 are related to iTunes Match, Passbook, and Exchange bugs:

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Photo of tweaked full-sized iPad shell with new, smaller Lightning port?

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The authors of blog Apple.Pro have posted a photo of what appears to be the shell for the upcoming tweaked third-generation iPad with a Lightning port. No other changes appear to be shown in this image. That is in line with expectations of this being a very minor refresh. Apple.Pro is known to have a fairly reliable track record when it comes to sharing images of parts for upcoming Apple products.

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Action Movie FX 2.0, Skype WiFi, my AT&T, Kik Messenger, more

Action Movie FX version 2.0: We’ve had fun with hollywood style special effects app Action Movie FX since its release, and today the app gets even more content with 4 new Sci-fi FX, support for iPad and iPhone 5, and HD versions of all previous effects:

What’s New in Version 2
– 4 ALL NEW BLOCKBUSTER SCI-FI FX
*INVADERS PACK: ALIEN BURST & SPACE DESTROYER
*CYBORG PACK: ROBO ATTACK & LASER BLASTER
– HD Ready versions of ALL FX
– NEW iPAD FEATURES including:
* Pinch to Zoom
* Drag to Place FX
* Swap FX
– Optimized for iPhone 5 & iPad!

Skype WiFi version 1.2:

• iPhone/iPad universal app
• Support for additional WiFi network providers
• Tested on iOS 6
• Bug fixes

my AT&T version 2.4.2: Read more

Six iPhone 5 gripes from Apple Support: Date/Time issues, Lightning charging, Wi-Fi, reception, voice quality, and battery life

The iPhone 5 is barely a month old, and almost everyone, present company included, thinks it is the most amazing smartphone on the market. But, it’s not perfect (that’s what updates are for), and Apple’s Support Community has been lighting up with not-isolated issues affecting all matter of functionality on the iPhone 5.

The top 6 iPhone 5 gripes from Apple’s support forums:

1. Date and time

The above issue, regarding iPhone 5 dates and times randomly changing, largely seems to primarily affect Verizon users. One support forum member (Rockyrikoko) even reported the same problem having occurred for Verizon’s Droid devices. The same member later claimed Apple engineers told him/her: “Issues with time provided over the air from Verizon will ultimately be for the carrier to address.” A quick skim through over a dozen pages revealed that —to this date— there has been no quick fix from Apple or Verizon and many users are still manually setting their clocks.

Check out the full thread: iPhone 5 time and date issues

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Verizon iPhone 5 update eliminates carrier data usage while connected to a Wifi Network

An update is going to Verizon iPhone 5 owners this evening that resolves an issue where, under certain circumstances, the iPhone 5 may use Verizon cellular data while connected to a Wi-Fi network. We are not sure how much data leaks, or why and if Verizon will offer a refund, but we reached out to the carrier for a statement.

Update: Torod Neptune, spokesperson for Verizon Wireless, provided the following statement:

“Under certain circumstances, iPhone 5 may use Verizon cellular data while the phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network. Apple has a fix that is being delivered to Verizon customers right on their iPhone 5. Verizon Wireless customers will not be charged for any unwarranted cellular data usage.”

Instructions to install the update.

  1. Tap Settings > General > About.
  2. Wait for the following alert to appear:
  3. Tap OK to install the update.
  4. Hold the Sleep/Wake button down until you see “slide to power off”.
  5. Slide to power off.
  6. After the device powers off, hold the Sleep/Wake button to turn your phone back on.

Note: To finish the installation of the update, your iPhone 5 must be turned off and then turned on again.

After your iPhone restarts, tap Settings > General > About, and then scroll down to Carrier and verify “Verizon 13.1″ is displayed.

The issue may be a carryover from the Wi-Fi+Cellular feature that was in the betas of iOS 6 but was eliminated in the final version. One reader below mentions the data leak seems to have occurred while the device is asleep.

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Apps & updates: BBC iPlayer, imo.im, MOG, Adobe Proto, more

Aside from our full list of interesting apps and updates hitting the App Store this morning, Hulu is making “Kill Bill: Volume 1″ available to stream free (you can get Hulu Plus free for two months here). We will continue to update the list of apps below throughout the day:

BBC iPlayer version 1.3.2: BBC’s streaming app for its TV and radio networks received a nice update today that brings updated graphics for Retina iPads, improved video playback performance, enhanced Voice Over controls, and the usual bug fixes and performance updates.

imo instant messenger version 3.2: The popular instant messaging app with more than 700,000 users and 50 million messages sent daily was updated this morning with one big new feature previously only available to Android users: voice calling over Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G. All users running iOS 3.1 and up can now make free calls to their imo contacts with no usage of cell minutes and no data usage over Wi-Fi.

TweetBot version 0.7.0: TweetBot for Mac beta has been given a nice update, adding the ability to edit your Twitter profile within the app, animated .gif support, and Storify support among even more features. Due to Sandboxing issues, you will need to manually install the update.

MOG version 2.1.33: Online music subscription service MOG, home to roughly 16 million songs and 500,000 paid subscribers, was recently acquired by Beats Electronics. Its iOS app received a decent update today, with the ability to create and edit playlists, as well as a new album reviews section, and a “better, stronger, faster interface.”

Adobe Proto version 1.5: Adobe’s prototyping app for creating wireframe prototypes of apps and websites was updated today with a few notable features. A full list of what’s new in the update including email and Dropbox sharing, navigation improvements, and more is below:

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Use Mountain Lion’s new Wi-Fi Scan utility to optimize your home wireless network

A new Wi-Fi scanner tool is in Mountain Lion’s refreshed Wi-Fi Diagnostics Utility, allowing users to easily discover Wi-Fi networks within range and view related data not available from Apple’s Wi-Fi menu bar item. Comparable to third-party Wi-Fi stumbler tool iStumbler, the scan tool provides data for BSSID, band, protocol, channel, signal strength, security, and more. It also has Active and Passive scan modes.

From the window, you can see what networks are in your area and their strength. Some maneuvering of base stations can increase coverage to the outermost areas of your house, and it is much, much easier to see slight differences in numerical signal vs. noise strength over those four waves Apple uses in its Wi-Fi menu.

Additionally, by looking at what Channel (1-13) your base station is on, compared to your neighbors (or other base stations in your house), you can often find the least used channel in your area to improve reception.

If you are interested in using the new Wi-Fi scanner tool, OSX Daily provided the necessary steps for quick access:
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Broadcom announces BCM4335 chip that will likely power 2013’s iPad and iPhone to Gigabit ‘5G’ Wi-Fi

Broadcom just announced its next round of portable device wireless chip, the BCM4335, which includes the ability to connect to the superfast 802.11ac networks. Apple exclusively uses Broadcom chips in this family for its iOS devices (and a different family for its Macs). The current iPad and iPhone use the Broadcom BCM4330 802.11a/b/g/n baseband/radio with integrated Bluetooth 4.0+HS and an FM transceiver—and the xxx5 is just a minor step up.

We found some code that indicates the next iPhone will use the Broadcom BCM4334, which adds the 40nm process and Wi-Fi Direct capabilities (perhaps opening some Airdrop capabilities too).

The 40nm chip will continue to deliver Bluetooth 4.0 and FM, but its 802.11ac networking could save some power using the new standard. It also features the “industry’s most advanced idle power consumption performance, which significantly extends a mobile device’s battery life.”

Sample chips are already available with a full production expected to be delivered in Q1 2013, just in time for next year’s iPads.

The press release follows: Read more

Apple announces new AirPort Express featuring dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi for $99

Apple just unveiled its new AirPort Express on its online store at the conclusion of its WWDC keynote. The new router features dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi for $99. Besides the new bands, the new Express does not seem to feature any new updates, except that it does seem to look closer to an Apple TV — in white. The update Express keeps the same USB 2.0 and 3.5mm headphone jack that it has always carried. You can check it out on the Apple Online Store now.  Read more

Weekend Reading: The Apple Experience by Carmine Gallo [excerpt]

If you are wondering why your recent trip to the Apple Store left you loving Apple more than ever or wanting your customers to feel the same way about your company, we got the book for you.

The Apple Experience” by veteran Apple/technology author Carmine Gallo deep dives into the Apple retail experience and breaks down exactly what it is that Apple retail employees are trained to do just to make a customer feel good about an experience (and want to come back). The 235-page book goes through every aspect of employee training and pours through countless hours of interviews with employees and shoppers on Apple’s five-step service: Approach, Probe, Present, Listen, and End.

Even if you do not own a retail business and just want to understand how Apple retail works, there is a lot here for you.

Gallo heeds his own advice by delivering a fun and incredibly insightful book that will help people understand the “magic” of the Apple retail experience.

The Apple Experience is at Amazon. The hardcover is $16.50, and the Kindle version is $9.99. When it hits the iBookstore, it will be available here.

An “Apple Experience” excerpt from “Chapter 10: Sell the Benefit” is below: Read more

Is Apple falsely advertising 4G on its iPads in Australia?

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is seeking to have Apple drop the “4G” from the advertising/website of its new iPad products with cell modems…

The ACCC alleges that Apple’s recent promotion of the new “iPad with WiFi + 4G” is misleading because it represents to Australian consumers that the product “iPad with WiFi + 4G” can, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case.

Optus and Telstra do not use the compatible LTE radio frequencies as Apple’s iPad; therefore, new iPads are not compatible with the LTE 4G networks in Australia. Both mobile carriers already dropped the “4G” naming on the new iPad on their websites. However, Apple does display “iPad +4G” on the Apple.com.au website.

The speed that the iPad gets in Australia is pretty solid…

Importantly, Apple has the subtext:

The iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G model can roam worldwide on fast GSM/UMTS networks, including HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA. When you travel internationally, you can use a micro-SIM card from a local carrier. You can also connect to the 4G LTE networks of AT&T in the U.S. and Bell, Rogers, and Telus in Canada.

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More importantly, it does not look like Australians play high and fast with marketing terms like “4G” as we do here in the United States, which now describes HSPA+ on AT&T iPhone 4S’s. Read more