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iPad mini with Retina display review

iPad mini with Retina display with iPad Air

I've been using the iPad mini with Retina display for a couple of weeks now, and after using it as my primary tablet device during that time (setting aside my iPad Air) I think it's time to report back with my findings as it pertains to Apple's second-generation miniature iPad.

Last year, Apple introduced the iPad mini to the world at the same time as the fourth-generation standard-sized iPad. Essentially, Apple took the iPad 2 and forked it into two different products--the Retina display-packing full-sized iPad, and the iPad mini, which was simply an iPad 2 that had been reduced in size. Many (me included) expected that the next iPad mini would remain a year behind as far as internal chips and technologies go, leaving the cutting edge stuff with the larger iPad.

We were wrong.

Instead, Apple released two iPad that are, from a technological standpoint, virtually identical. You got the slimmed down iPad Air (see our iPad Air review), and the iPad mini with Retina display. Both pack the same number of pixels. Both sport the new Apple A7 processor (1.4GHz for the iPad Air, 1.3GHz for the iPad mini.) Same with the M7 co-processor, and the 10-hour battery life. So, the question as it pertains to an iPad purchase becomes, is it more important to you to have a larger display, or a more compact form factor? I've already given you my iPad Air review, now join me after the jump for my review of the iPad mini with Retina display.

Click to continue reading iPad mini with Retina display review


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MacBook Pro (late 2013) review

MacBook Pro late 2013 review

A couple of weeks ago, Apple introduced the world to the iPad Air, but during the same event, the new 2013 MacBook Pro lineup was also revealed, going on sale that same afternoon. These new MacBook Pros would ship with OS X 10.9 Mavericks, the new desktop operating system that was also released that same day, completely free of charge. The 2013 MacBook Pro line sees some significant updates--things like a thinner body, Retina display, PCIe storage, and Haswell processors. So, how do all these changes come together at the end of the day, and is the end result enough for you to give it your attention? Does a thinner, lighter, cheaper, and more powerful package add up to more than the sum of its parts? We answer all this and more in our 13-inch MacBook Pro (late 2013) review.

Click to continue reading MacBook Pro (late 2013) review


2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Apple TV

Apple TV

iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch will be big holiday gifts this year, make no mistake about it. The Apple TV is actually a fantastic complement to Apple's handhelds, worthy of being featured in our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. A nice little device in its own right, the Apple TV gives you access to Apple's iTunes Store entertainment content right on your television. In addition, you get Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, sports networks, and plenty of other entertainment options. Connect it to your iTunes Home Share, and you can use your iOS devices as remote controls for the Apple TV. The best part, though, is AirPlay. You can beam audio and video content right to the Apple TV with ease from your iOS device, or your Mac. You can also mirror the display of these devices as well, all wireless over your home network.

You can pick up the Apple TV for $99, or $94.95 on Amazon.

Honorable Mention: Roku 2 XS Streaming Player

Read More | Apple TV

Unboxing Live 125: Apple iPad Air

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Features, Handhelds, Videocasts

Apple's iPad Air is the thinnest, lightest, and sveltest full-sized tablet from Apple yet. We open up the new iPad Air at the Apple Store at Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood, Washington, giving you a look at the new thin tablet, along with the other things included in the box (in this case, just the iPad Air AC adapter and a Lightning cable.) Stay tuned for our iPad Air video review, and be sure to check out our full iPad Air review.

You can pick up the iPad Air now from Apple.

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iPad Air review

iPad Air review

Thinner. Lighter. Anyone familiar with Apple keynote events knows that these two words mean a lot to the company. In essence, Apple aims to reduce the bulks of its products, stripping away any unnecessary heft while simultaneously packing in as much power as possible. It's quite a task, really. The company has backed itself into a corner where it's now expected that anything that's a newer version of a previous thing will be smaller, thinner, and lighter.

Back in 2008, Apple did this with the jaw-dropping MacBook Air. Fully a Mac, but so thin you could slid it into a manila envelope. It was hard to believe that a Mac that thin, with a full-sized keyboard and display, was possible when PC makers were all focusing on grossly underpowered netbooks with cramped keyboards.

Now, Apple has done the same with its tablet lineup. Three-and-a-half years after releasing the original and iconic iPad, Apple has now made it almost impossibly thinner and lighter with the iPad Air. Sporting a new, slim design that borrows heavily from that of the iPad mini, the iPad Air bezel has been reduced by over 40%. Thickness has been reduced as well--20% thinner than the iPad 4 at 7.5mm. Perhaps most importantly, the iPad Air sheds almost half a pound of weight when compared against the two iPads that preceded it, all while maintaining the same impressive 9.7-inch Retina display.

So, the question now is, is the new iPad Air worth your time, attention, and hard-earned cash? Read on for our full iPad Air review as we explore Apple's latest flagship tablet.

Click to continue reading iPad Air review


Apple updates AirPort Utility for iOS, making it 64-bit

Posted by Jason Diaz Categories: Utilities, App Updates, Apple, Free Apps

AirPort Utility 64B 2

Alongside the Apple TV Remote app update, Apple has also released AirPort Utility 1.3.3, bringing 64-bit support to the app when using it on an iPhone 5S, iPad Air, or iPad Mini 2. While the prior update gave it a redesign, this update brings AirPort Utility up to par with other Apple iOS stock apps that have transitioned to the higher bitness. Clearly, Apple is on the move and is transitioning all of its first-party app over to 64-bit. Get a look at all the features after the jump.

Features

  • See a graphical overview of your Wi-Fi network
  • Get information about your connected Wi-Fi devices
  • View and change network and Wi-Fi settings
  • Restart or restore a base station, or update the firmware on a base station when available
  • View or update passwords for your network, base stations, or disks
  • Easily access network information such as IP address, DNS servers, and router address
  • Manage DHCP reservations and port mappings
  • Configure base stations for IPv6
  • View status or error messages
  • Archive Time Machine backups

New In Update 1.3.3

  • Adds 64-bit support

Read More | App Store

Remote app for Apple TV gets the iOS 7 treatment

Remote App iOS 7 Theme 1 Remote App iOS 7 Theme 2

The popular Apple TV Remote app has finally received a much-needed iOS 7-themed face lift. The update adds a clean, flat look with a tasteful translucent aesthetic that gives it depth. The Remote app is not yet 64-bit optimized, but perhaps it will in the next subsequent update similar to the update cycle of the AirPort Utility, which received a redesign update first then became 64-bit ready in the sunsequent release. Remote is now iTunes 11.1 ready and is a unversal binary, compatible with all iOS devices. Here’s a list of what's new in Remote:

Features

  • Control iTunes and Apple TV from anywhere in your home
  • A simplified look with new ways to browse your library
  • See upcoming songs with Up Next
  • See all songs in an album with Expanded view on an iPad
  • Add new songs to hear them next and then automatically continue where you left off
  • Browse, listen to, and control your iTunes Match library on Apple TV
  • Pause, rewind, fast-forward, shuffle, and adjust the volume from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
  • View album, movie, and TV show artwork
  • Create and update iTunes playlists, including Genius playlists
  • Search your entire iTunes library
  • Control iTunes to send music to AirPlay speakers
  • Control the volume on each speaker independently
  • Use simple gestures to control Apple TV
  • Enter text with the keyboard
  • Control shared libraries on iTunes and the new Apple TV

What's New In This Version:

  • This version of Remote has been completely redesigned for iOS 7 and adds support for iTunes 11.1.

You can download Remote from the App Store for free.

Read More | Remote [App Store]

The history of Mac OS X pricing: How we got to free

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Features, PC / Laptop, Software

OS X Mavericks

OS X Logo history

We had a few readers email in yesterday after it was announced that OS X Mavericks would be free, a first for a major desktop operating system release. It seems a few of you are curious about how Apple got here, and what the history is as it relates to the pricing of OS X. So, here's a quick history lesson. 

  • 10.0 Cheetah: Released March 24, 2001 for $129
  • 10.1 Puma: Released September 25, 2001 for $0
  • 10.2 Jaguar: Released August 23, 2002 for $129
  • 10.3 Panther: Released October 24, 2003 for $129
  • 10.4 Tiger: Released April 29, 2005 for $129
  • 10.5 Leopard: Released October 26, 2007 for $129
  • 10.6 Snow Leopard: Released August 28, 2009 for $29
  • 10.7 Lion: Released July 20, 2011 for $29
  • 10.8 Mountain Lion: Released July 25, 2012 for $19
  • 10.9 Mavericks: Released October 22, 2013 for $0

So, as you can see, both OS X 10.1 Puma and 10.9 Mavericks were released as free updates, however, Puma was released just six months after 10.0 Cheetah, so that would have been ridiculous if Apple has chosen to charge for it. Other than that anomaly, OS X updates remained at $129 each until Snow Leopard in 2009, which sold for $29. The last $129 version of OS X was Leopard, which saw massive delays due to Apple pulling engineers from it to work on iPhone OS 1.0 (now known as iOS.) Lion was also sold for $29, and was the first version of OS X to be available as a digital download from the Mac App Store. The following year, Mountain Lion debuted at just $19--the best bargain in OS X release history until yesterday, when Mavericks launched for free. The trend has always been that OS X updates would cost the same as the previous year, or less--never more (discounting the Puma issue, which was a huge bugfix patch.) As this point, it appears that OS X has gone the way of iOS, where all updates from here on out will be available for free, on an annual basis.

You can download OS X Mavericks, for free, right now.


Apple releases Numbers 3.0, here’s a look at what’s new

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, PC / Laptop, Software

Apple iWork Numbers 3.0
Completing the iWork app updates, Apple has released Numbers 3.0 on the Mac App Store (alongside the Pages and Keynote updates), bringing a revamped user interface to the spreadsheet program. There are a bunch of new Apple-designed templates in the mix, as well as simplified formulas, charts, tables, and more. iCloud collaboration is also thrown in, allowing multiple users to edit the same document at once, in realtime. Here's a list of improvements:
  • Stunning new user interface
  • Brand-new Apple-designed templates
  • Simplified toolbar gives you quick access to shapes, media, tables, charts, and sharing options
  • New Format Panel automatically updates based on selection
  • Quickly click through a spreadsheet using new tab navigation
  • Get function suggestions as soon as you start typing a formula
  • Get live formula results, error checking, exact value, and cell format with the new smart cell view
  • Add your favorite functions to Quick Calculations for instant results
  • Search the integrated function browser for built-in help and sample formulas
  • Use gorgeous preset styles to make your text, tables, shapes, and images look beautiful
  • Animate data with new interactive column, bar, scatter, and bubble charts
  • Use new 2D bubble charts
  • Enhanced conditional highlighting makes it easy to automatically highlight cells based on numbers, text, dates, and durations
  • Easily filter through large tables with the new Filter Panel
  • New star ratings cell format
  • Quickly and easily share a link to your work via Mail, Messages, Twitter, or Facebook
  • Anyone with the link will always have access to the latest version of the spreadsheet and can edit it with you at iCloud.com with Numbers for iCloud beta
  • All-new calculation engine for fast performance
  • New unified file format across Mac, iOS, and web makes spreadsheets work seamlessly everywhere
  • Turn on Coaching Tips for guided in-app help

You can download the new Numbers for free if you're an existing user, or get it for $19.99 if you're a first timer.

Be sure to check out all the rest of the news from the Apple iPad event!


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