Apple Stores start selling Retina iPad mini to walk-in customers as regional carriers launch cellular models

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Regional carriers are starting to announce availability for cellular models of Apple’s new Retina iPad mini just as the company today started offering the device to walk-in customers.

Bluegrass Cellular announced today that it is now offering the iPad mini Wi-Fi Cellular models in-store and online. Available on the carrier’s website now starting at the usual $530 for the 16GB model, the carrier is also offering all three models (16GB, 32GB, and 64GB) on its no-contract “Freedom, Expanded” plan. That allows customers to make 12 monthly payments to get the device they want with the ability to trade-in and upgrade to a new device after a year. That plan will run $26.50/month for the 16GB model on Bluegrass, $31.50/month for the $630 32GB model, or $36.50/month for the $730 64GB model. The carrier appears to only have Space Gray models of the device available, at least online, and the Freedom Expanded plans are only available in-store. Another regional carrier, C Spire Wireless, will begin selling the Retina iPad mini over the next week. UpdateU.S. Cellular has also begun cellular iPad mini with Retina Display sales today on its website.

In other Retina iPad mini news, we’ve just received word Apple has just started selling the device to walk-in customers in its retail stores following an initial launch for Personal Pickup orders only.

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Apple releases OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.5 with Mail, WiFi, screensaver fixes

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Following an extensive period of betas for developers, Apple has publicly released OS X 10.8.5. The update is available from the Mac App Store Software’s Update section and is recommended for all users on OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.4.

The OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.5 Update is recommended for all OS X Mountain Lion users. It improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac. This update:

  • Fixes an issue that may prevent Mail from displaying messages
  • Improves AFP file transfer performance over 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Resolves an issue that may prevent a screen saver from starting automatically
  • Improves Xsan reliability
  • Improves reliability when transferring large files over Ethernet
  • Improves performance when authenticating to an Open Directory server
  • Addresses an issue that prevented a smart card from unlocking preference panes in System Preferences
  • Contains the improvements included in MacBook Air (Mid 2013) Software Update 1.0

The build number for the public release is 12F37, which is a single build over the most recent beta. Apple has also issued RAW Camera Compatibility updates and a new version of Safari. Later next month, Apple will release OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

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Review: Eye-Fi Mobi, a cool idea let down by poor reliability

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An increasing number of cameras these days have wifi built-in, allowing instant viewing of photos on your iPhone or iPad, and from there instant sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and so on. Which can leave those of us with less sociable cameras feeling a little left out in the cold.

Eye-Fi has offered solutions to this for some time, in the form of wifi-equipped cards that you can insert into your older or pro camera and transmit the images to a PC or Mac. This approach worked, after a fashion, but had two big problems. First, setup was far from easy, and second, transmission was via a wireless router. Fine at home, where you probably didn’t need it, not so fine when out & about, where you probably did.

This was the problem the Eye-Fi Mobi set out to solve: a $50 (8GB) or $80 (16GB) SD card that transmits photos direct to an iOS device running the free Eye-Fi app, with no router required. I decided to give it a try …  Read more

Apple says small number of Apple TVs have WiFi issues, opens replacement program

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Apple has informed its official retail stores, AppleCare employees, and authorized resellers that a small number of third-generation Apple TV units have WiFi issues. These issues surround not being able to locate a WiFi network, unable to join a network, and dropped or intermittent connections.

Apple has determined that a very small number of Apple TV (3rd generation) products might experience one of these Wi-Fi related connectivity issues: Cannot locate network, Unable to join network, Dropped or intermittent connection.

If an Apple technician determines that an applicable Apple TV has these issues, the unit can be replaced as part of a replacement program that Apple has begun because of these WiFi issues. Apple says that replacements can be offered free of charge up to two years after the device’s purchase date.

Here are the serial number pairs that are eligible:

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OS X 10.8.4 code confirms new Macs incoming with super-fast 802.11ac Gigabit wireless support

Apple is preparing to soon release new Mac computers that support super-fast 802.11ac Gigabit wireless, according to code-findings inside of Apple’s latest OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.4 beta seed to developers. The code was located by a tipster inside of the operating system’s WiFi-frameworks folder. As you can see in the image directly below, the 802.11ac code is not found in OS X 10.8.3, which is the latest public release of Apple’s Mac operating system.

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Previous reports have claimed that Apple is working with wireless chipmaker Broadcom to produce 802.11ac chips for future Macs. Now, it appears, Apple’s software is ready to support the new wireless technology as well. More details below…

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