Well, it’s around that time of year, when we can expect new iPad rumors to heat up and, eventually, Apple announcements to come. The latest news / rumor, via Bloomberg news, is that production for the next-gen full-size iPad is already underway:
Mass production of a full-sized iPad with a 9.7-inch screen is already under way, with an unveiling projected for the end of this quarter or early next, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t public. A new version of the 7.9-inch iPad mini is also entering production and will probably be available by the end of the year, they said.
According to 9to5Mac, the feature list for the next iPads (full-size and mini) will include faster A8 processors, the TouchID fingerprint scanner, improved cameras, and (at least on the full-size model) a new anti-reflective coating that’s said to make the iPad easier to read in sunlight or similar conditions.
A faster processor is always welcome, TouchID would be a nice addition, but my one BIG wish list item remains the same as it has for years: More RAM. This is long overdue and is an area where the iPad is extremely weak compared to several rivals and even many high-end smartphones by now.
The latest iPad rumor is an exciting one – the prospect of spilt-screen multitasking for the iPad in iOS 8. 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman reported on what he’s been hearing on this topic yesterday:
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.
This would obviously be very good news if it proves true. I especially like the sound of this level of additional inter-app functionality:
In addition to allowing for two iPad apps to be used at the same time, the feature is designed to allow for apps to more easily interact, according to the sources. For example, a user may be able to drag content, such as text, video, or images, from one app to another. Apple is said to be developing capabilities for developers to be able to design their apps to interact with each other. This functionality may mean that Apple is finally ready to enable “XPC” support in iOS (or improved inter-app communication), which means that developers could design App Store apps that could share content.
Microsoft heavily promotes this feature on their range of Surface tablets. It will be interesting to see whether Apple decides to match or, more likely, improve on it in iOS 8 for the iPad.
Do you remember Clippy? He was a chipper guy, who when I first saw him in Windows as a spotty teen I thought “that’s cool, an interactive comic character who will help me use Office 97!”. Clippy was great, and then 2 minutes later I learned how to use Office properly and he quickly became annoying. I suspect his intention was to educate us in a fun and interesting way about Office 97 in those pre-web 2.0 days. Great idea, but we didn’t actually use it in practice.
This is how I feel about Tocomail. Great idea that works, but it fills a niche that probably doesn’t need to be filled. Tocomail is an interesting concept. It’s positioned as an app with e-safety at it’s heart by providing a controlled environment for children from the age of 5 to have their own email account. Signing up for a Tocomail account will give you as a parent the ability to set up an email account for your children. You can populate the address book with safe contacts, for example your family and friends, and your children can email these people from directly within the app.
The way the app is set up means that your child can only email these contacts and no one else. Likewise, only the people on the contacts list can email the child’s Tocomail account. If an email comes from an address not on the contact list then the email is put into a catch all account which the parent can log on and inspect, rather than going to the child’s inbox. Setup is easy enough. You as a parent have to create an account with Tocomail, and then you can create an email address for your child (ending in @tocomail.com). You can set up multiple accounts for different children in the same app and switch between them. You then have two user interface options, both of which have a couple of differences.
One of the latest rumors leading up to Apple’s iPad announcement event today says that Apple is testing new ‘Surface-like’ keyboard cases for the new iPad 5 that’s expected to be unveiled at the event.
As MacRumors reports, at least one former Apple staffer thinks a new keyboard case could be announced alongside new iPads today:
According to ex-Apple Developer Relations employee and industry analyst Jamie Ryan (viaGizmodo UK), Apple has been testing a first-party keyboard case to be potentially released alongside the upcoming fifth-generation iPad. The case itself would reportedly be similar in nature to Microsoft’s Touch Cover, which is made for the Surface line of tablets.
I’ve been speaking to a couple of people at Apple for the last few days and they have told me that a case for the full size iPad that mimics Microsofts touch cover has been prototyped. It’s not clear whether the process is far enough along to make this Tuesdays event but they did say a few different styles had been in testing for a while.
This is an iPad rumor that doesn’t seem at all far fetched. A number of 3rd party vendors have been making iPad keyboard cases for years now. Some of them are very good too – like the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad mini shown above.
If Apple offers a keyboard case that rivals or betters some of those from companies like Logitech and ZAGG I’d definitely be interested in trying it out.
What do you all think? Would you be interested in an iPad 5 keyboard case?
As the expected new iPads announcement event looms just a week away now, the rumors and leaks about the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2nd gen continue to spread.
A couple that have caught my eye this week relate to slight changes in size for both the iPad 5th gen and the iPad mini 2. The iPad 5 is expected to adopt a more ‘minified’ style and becom slightly slimmer and lighter. Along with this slimming down, Apple Insider reports that Apple will offer a new iPad Smart Cover to fit the new iPad 5.
While the iPad 5 gets trimmer, the iPad mini 2 is expected to get bigger – though only by a tiny bit – to be able to support a Retina display. MacRumors outlines how very small the iPad mini 2 size increase may be:
Some Chinese case-makers expect the new iPad mini to be roughly 0.3mm thicker than the current model, going from 7.2mm to 7.5mm, according to a report from Mac Otakara. The cases also indicate the device will be 0.2mm wider, growing from 134.7mm to some 134.9mm.
A number of iPad mini backplates, supposedly from the new device, have leaked over the past few months, with no hint that the size of the new mini will be different from the old one. However, given the small size changes in the new report — only 0.3mm difference in thickness — it would likely take a micrometer to notice any change.
Both of these latest rumors make good sense to me. A new Smart Cover seems a no-brainer as they’ve been popular and effective cases several generations of the iPad and iPad mini already. And the iPad mini being a little bit larger to handle Retina display would follow the precedent set when the iPad 3 went Retina.
iPad 5 render image above courtesy of Martin Hajek
Boy, the rumors about whether or not we’ll see an iPad mini with Retina display in 2013 have been flying round all year long. One minute it’s a sure thing we will see the Retina iPad min this year; the next it’s a definite no-go due to supply chain issues or the complexity of the manufacturing process for it.
This week’s latest reports on the subject, like this one from Reuters, cite ‘people who work in the company’s (Apple’s) supply chain’ and sum things up like so:
Apple’s supply chain is only now gearing up to make retina displays for the iPad Mini, which means the gadgets could be available in only limited quantities this year, if at all, and the company may miss the chance to cash in on the year-end holiday shopping season …
This is one iPad rumor I’m not fond of, of course. I hope it’s inaccurate because I’d hate to see Apple miss out on the 2013 holiday season with the new Retina iPad mini – which is bound to be a big hit. I also hope this report is wrong for purely personal reasons. My iPad usage now skews something like 80-20 in favor of the iPad mini. My iPad 3 is still a powerful and beautiful device, but the lightness and the form factor of the iPad mini have made it the tablet I use the most since the first week I owned it.
So here’s hoping this latest Retina iPad mini report is not on the money, and that Apple announces its iPad event very soon so we can get the real answers on new iPads.
The latest iPad mini rumors suggest that we should expect to see a new iPad mini with retina display in the 3rd quarter of this year, and another new model with retina display and an ‘updated processor’ in the first quarter of 2014.
These are based on claims by the NPD DisplaySearch analysts, as reported by CNET.
We see two refreshes coming. One in the second half of this year, then one in Q1 [first quarter] of 2014,” analyst Richard Shim told CNET late Sunday night.
“The Q1  device will have a Retina display plus an updated processor,” Shim added.
Apple Insider also has a report up today noting that mass production of the screens for the retina display iPad mini could start as early as next month – again citing Shim as the source.
It feels like about time we heard at least some early rumors on the next iPad mini, or any iPd release on the horizon. I’d certainly love to see the first part of these rumors, the 3rd quarter release for a new iPad mini with retina display, prove true.
I think we’ve already seen that the iPad mini has quickly become the most popular model in the iPad lineup. When I did a review of the iPad mini I talked about the trade-off of its wonderful lightness more than making up for the lack of retina display. That still holds true, but I also mentioned that adding a retina display to the iPad mini would make it just about a perfect device – and I still feel the same on that point too.
In other words, come on Apple – just tell me when I can line up.
Image Source: Martin Hajek
So today we’ve got a promising sounding iPad rumor that says Apple may be gearing up for a new iPad release as soon as April. This comes via Rene Ritchie at iMore, who has a very solid recent track record on predicting new Apple product launch and release dates.
Here’s the gist of what iMore has heard:
We’ve also been told an April-ish launch is getting serious consideration for the next-generation iPads, but we’re really not sure what to make of that yet. iPad 5 casings have already begun to leak — the only big redesign in the line — so that could make sense. Retina for the iPad mini, however, still doesn’t sound imminent.
I’ve said before and still think that a twice a year refresh pattern for the iPad sounds right to me. They did it last year and it would make a lot of sense to me if the iPad 5th gen gets a Spring release and then the iPad mini sees a late Fall release. That should allow for substantial upgrades to the ‘standard’ iPad and hopefully enough time for Apple to work out a way to add a retina display to the iPad mini.
My only other quick thought is that while an iPad mini with retina display should be a monster hit right away, the iPad 5 will need some major new features to create anything like as much excitement.
What are your thoughts on the new iPads we’ll see this year?
iPad 5 Render courtesy of Martin Hajek
It’s taken a little longer than I expected for iPad 5 (or whatever a 5th gen standard iPad ends up being called) to get going in 2013. I think this is at least partly due to the surprise release of the iPad 4th gen last November. That has left a lot of room for doubt as to whether Apple will skip their usual Spring release cycle for the iPad, or continue with a twice-a-year refresh pattern.
Todays rumor comes via Piper Jaffray’s analyst Gene Munster, as reported by Apple Insider. Jaffray believes we’ll see an iPad event in the March/April timeframe. As in, pretty much when we have come to expect them since 2010.
He also speculates that since the 4th gen iPad brought only relatively minor updates last fall alongside the launch of the iPad mini, this event should see the unveiling of substantially redesigned iPad.
We believe Apple could update the full-sized iPad to a body style similar to the iPad Mini. Additionally, we believe that the iPad Mini could get a Retina display, although that may happen later in the year given the supply constraints Apple faced on the Mini in the December quarter.
I feel like this rumor is almost in the obvious category. I find it hard to imagine that Apple will do nothing to refresh the iPad lineup until the final quarter of the year – especially since Tim Cook talked about how Apple was ‘just getting started’ and said “We’re not taking our foot off the gas” at last year’s iPad mini / iPad 4th gen announcement event. It makes perfect sense for the iPad update to come first, presumably becoming lighter and borrowing from the iPad mini design – with an update for the smaller iPad coming in the Fall / Winter that hopefully adds a retina display.
What do you all think? iPad 5 event in the next couple months?
Image Source: Martin Hajek
I know, I know – new iPad rumors already – when we just saw the release of two new iPads a couple of months ago. Crazy, right? Well, maybe not so much. Today MacRumors and others are reporting on Wall Street analyst Brian White’s prediction that we’ll see 2 more new iPads released in March:
Our checks at CES indicate Apple will release the iPad 5 and the second-generation iPad mini this March. The iPad 5 is expected to be lighter and thinner than the iPad 4 that was released in October, while the form factor of the iPad mini should be similar to the first generation iPad mini that debuted in October.
Even more interesting is that over recent weeks Horace Dediu of Asymco discussed the possibility of Apple switching to a twice a year release schedule for at least some of its star products – and put forward some solid reasons why this is plausible. Then Graham Spencer at MacStories did some further research and analysis around Dediu’s case and posted his thoughts this week. He weighs up a number of factors to do with release schedules, international rollouts timing, spreading out demand peaks and troughs better over the course of the year and ends up saying his guess is that Apple will move to a twice a year release schedule for the iPad and iPhone in 2013, while pointing out that it’s a tough call and a very tough thing to pull off for Apple.
Image Source: 9to5Mac
It’s been a little while, while the iPhone took center stage, but the iPad Mini rumors are beginning to flow again. Today there’s a major new iPad Mini rumor courtesy of Philip Elmer-DeWitt at Fortune Tech.
It offers up some specific dates during this month and next in the iPad Mini launch timeline – including press invites for an expected unveiling event going out next week, on October 10. Their source is described as a ‘major Apple investor’ who in turn has heard these dates from ‘multiple sources’. Here’s the details on the rumored dates:
What our source adds is the specificity of a date: The press, he says, can expect invitations to go out on Oct. 10.
If the rumor is true, and if Apple follows its usual scheduling protocol, that would suggest a special event to unveil the product on Wednesday, Oct. 17, with a launch day of Friday Nov. 2 — plenty of time to capture holiday sales.
So that’s invites to an Apple event going out middle of next week, the event itself to be held a week later on October 17 and a launch day of Friday November 2. I haven’t seen a Yep or Nope from The Man Who Knows as yet on this one – so for now I’m going to continue hoping that the timeline for the iPad Mini might be a bit faster. I was thinking over this past weekend that I hope to see Apple’s event invite go out this weekend, then an unveiling event next week (say the 10th), and then a launch by around the 19th.
Then again, if the Fortune Tech source is correct then the iPad Mini launch will be the Friday that falls two days after Halloween. Now that could make for some fun late night / early morning lines.