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.
Image Source: Android Authority on Google+
If you’re unhappy with Apple’s own new maps in the iPad Maps app, you’re far from alone. Lots of users and tech reviewers are slamming the poor quality of the new Maps app, after Apple decided to ditch Google Maps in iOS 6.
There’s even a Tumblr site devoted to showing off some of the worst examples of the new Maps app getting things badly wrong. And Android fans are certainly having their share of fun with this subject – as you can see in the image at the top of this post.
Well, it looks like there may soon be some good news for anyone who would like to be able to use Google Maps again on the iPad. The Guardian reports hearing from their sources that Google has developed a maps app for iOS 6.
9to5Mac says they have also heard this, and more:
Separately, we heard Google has had a separate version of its iOS Maps app for quite a while that goes back years. Additionally, we learned an updated iOS 6 version has been submitted to Apple. It is awaiting approval, however, and that could take some time.
I’m nowhere near a heavy enough user of the Maps app to weigh in with any strong opinion on how good / terrible / mediocre the new iOS 6 Maps app is, but it sure seems as if there are some huge flaws being pointed out already. I do hope that if Google has submitted a separate maps app that Apple does the right thing and approves it without delay.
Of course you can still access Google Maps via the Safari browser on the iPad – at maps.google.com – but it lacks many of the native app’s features.
What do you all think of the new iOS 6 maps on the iPad? Would you use a Google maps app if and when they release one for iOS 6?
The latest rumors reported by Apple Insider suggest that production for the iPad Mini (or iPad Air or whatever Apple decides to name it) is set to ramp up next month, in preparation for a launch of the new smaller iPad in October:
… fresh rumors say supply volume of the device are estimated to reach four million units per month beginning in September, giving the company enough time to prepare for the lucrative holiday season.
The report is based on sources at DigiTimes, which has a very spotty record when it comes to Apple rumors – but it does sound a lot like similar reports we heard from them about ramped up production for the new iPad at the tail end of 2011 and early this year, which seem to have proved accurate.
October seems quite a viable time for the release of the new smaller iPad too. One thing I know for sure – the more speculation I read on the size of the iPad Mini and how screen resolution and apps will work on it and how light it will be, and the more lovely mockups I see at iMore, the more ready I feel to buy it yesterday. As In, I really can’t wait to get my hands on this new smaller iPad now.
After a brief lull on the iPad Mini rumors front, things have kicked back in to a very high gear this week. In the last few days several of the leading ‘in the know’ sort of writers and sites have weighed in with new thoughts on and even lovely mockups of the much-anticipated new smaller iPad.
Here are a handful of things that have excited me the most on this front:
— John Gruber at Daring Fireball offered a fascinating post titled ‘Thinking This iPad Mini Thing Even Througher’ – where he offers his latest thoughts, analysis, and some slick math relating to the iPad Mini. One of the key points if that the device’s most notable feature may well be its lightness – with it weighing in somewhere around 250-300 grams. This would be a major selling point for the new smaller iPad:
Weight is a huge factor, maybe the factor, in one-handed use, and its too-heavy-to-hold-in-one-hand weight has always been one of the biggest knocks against the iPad-as-we-know-it. I’m thinking the iPad Mini will be not just thinner and lighter than the iPad-as-we-know-it, but remarkably thinner and lighter than its competitors in the small tablet market.3 Yet it will have a bigger display.
Lately it has seemed that iPad Mini rumors had reached the boiling point where all that was missing was a date for an Apple announcement event. And now, according to the trusted sources of iMore’s Rene Ritchie, we’ve got one: Wednesday September 12th.
Ritchie’s report says the iPad Mini (or whatever name Apple decides to give it) will be announced alongside the next new iPhone and probably a new iPod Touch as well. The iPhone 5 (or whatever name the next iPhone is given) is said to be set for release on September 21.
According to Ritchie and others like iLounge, the iPad Mini could be released as soon as September 21 or as late as sometime in November.
Ritchie and his sources have a pretty good record when it comes to Apple event and release dates. My feeling, again, is that the iPad Mini release is virtually a lock now – and it looks like a release in just the next few months is on the cards now.
I’m definitely going to continue to save up for an iPad Mini purchase within the next three months. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on and purchasing plans (or lack thereof) for the iPad Mini in the comments.
As if there weren’t already enough compelling indicators that Apple is looking to release an iPad Mini over the next half year or so, now The New York Times has weighed in and said their sources confirm the same sort of information we’ve been hearing from Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal and others over recent weeks.
In a report yesterday the NYT mentioned that the iPad may be facing stiffer competition soon as Google has released their Nexus 7 (which is getting some quite strong reviews), Microsoft has announced their upcoming Surface tablets / hybrid devices and Amazon is said to be planning updates for their Kindle Fire.
But Apple is hardly about to cede ground.
The company is developing a new tablet with a 7.85-inch screen that is likely to sell for significantly less than the latest $499 iPad, with its 9.7-inch display, according to several people with knowledge of the project who declined to be named discussing confidential plans. The product is expected to be announced this year.
As with many new Apple products over the last few years, all the iPad Mini rumor stars are aligning now. Gruber’s little birdies are chirping the same sort of things as the NYT’s people with knowledge of the project. Jim Dalrymple at The Loop is using the word when rather than if when talking about a smaller iPad.
By now it will be a bit of a shocker if we don’t see Apple release a smaller iPad, and I expect over the next couple months we may well start seeing more and more leaks of iPad Mini spec details and perhaps even one of those lovely Apple event invites. Maybe they’ll announce it alongside the next-gen iPhone.
Last week I posted about how iPad Mini rumors had been gaining strength. The feeling of ‘where there’s this much smoke, there must be some fire’ was growing for me and I said this towards the end of that post:
I guess I’ve reached the stage where I’d be more surprised not to see the iPad Mini released in the next 8-10 months, and I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see it launched this year.
Well, this week has only increased that feeling, I’d say it’s now very likely we will see an ‘iPad Mini’ (or whatever Apple ends up calling it) released in the next 6-8 months. The reason I now feel so convinced of this is that two of the best and best-connected Apple writers have weighed in (to varying degrees) on the subject this week, and all the indicators from them are that we will see Apple release a smaller iPad.
John Gruber of Daring Fireball has a post up today titled Let’s Try to Think This iPad Mini Thing All the Way Through. In the post he proceeds to do just that. He works through all the main arguments against the release of the iPad Mini and provides good reasons why these may not hold much weight anymore – as Philip Elmer-Dewitt at Fortune Tech points out:
- The size problem — It’s a mistake to call it a 7-inch iPad, says Gruber, because a 7.85 inches diagonal is closer to 8 inches than the 9.7-inch diagonal iPad is to 10 inches (and nearly everybody refers to the current iPad as a 10-inch tablet). Most 7-inch tablets have been disappointments. An 8-inch tablet needn’t be.
- The sandpaper problem — When Steve Jobs said you’d need to sandpaper your fingers to use a smaller iPad he was talking about a 7-inch screen (50% the surface area of today’s iPad), not a nearly 8-inch inch screen (64%). [According to Jobs and Gruber’s geometry, the ratios are 45% and 66%.] Besides, Jobs was famous for changing his mind on a dime.
The iPad rumor that just won’t die – the one that says Apple will release a smaller iPad or an iPad Mini as it’s often called – has gained strength again this week. Reports from both Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal say the iPad Mini is coming this fall.
Here’s a key slice of what the WSJ has to say on this:
Apple Inc.’s component suppliers in Asia are preparing for mass production in September of a tablet computer with a smaller screen than the iPad, people familiar with the situation said, suggesting a launch for the device is near. Two of the people said that the tablet’s screen will likely be smaller than eight inches. The iPad’s screen measures 9.7 inches, unchanged since the first model was released in 2010.
Officials at the component suppliers, who declined to be named, said this week that Apple has told them to prepare for mass production of the smaller tablet.
John Gruber of Daring Fireball notes that if these reports prove true he expects the iPad Mini (or whatever it ends up being called) would likely be a 7.85 inch tablet with a 1024X768 display – based on the reasons and logic put forward by A.T. FAUST III of App Advice a few months back.
According to 9to5Mac and their trusty trusted sources Apple will be bringing the popular Siri voice-assistant feature to the iPad in iOS 6, the next major update to the iPad’s operating system. iOS 6 is expected to be released this summer or fall – we’ll learn more about when Apple holds their WWDC keynote event next Monday.
Here’s a slice of the 9to5Mac report on this:
Come this fall, people will start talking to their iPads. Apple’s breakthrough Siri Assistant, based on an incredible artificial-intelligence system, will no longer be exclusive to users of the popular iPhone 4S. According to trusted sources, one of the tentpole iOS 6 features is Siri support on the iPad. Not just the Voice Dictation brought to the iPad with the third-generation models and iOS 5.1, but the complete Siri voice assistant.
Siri, the software we first detailed for the iPhone in September of last year, brings all of its iPhone 4S features to the iPad, except for the phone-related commands. Music playback, iMessaging, Calendar managing, Reminders, Weather, Maps integration, E-mailing, Notes, Contacts searching, Safari integration, Wolfram-Alpha searching, and more are all present.
They also state that Siri for iPad will not be full-screen as it is on the iPhone 4S, which makes sense given the major difference in form factors between iPhone and iPad. Their mockup shown above illustrates how Siri on the iPad might look.
We’ve been hearing rumors and reports for months now on the prospect of Microsoft Office for iPad. The Daily – the iPad-only newspaper – were first to report on this back in February, and this week they’ve got a new report up stating that there’s now a specific launch date for Microsoft Office for iPad.
According to The Daily, Office for iPad is set to launch on November 10. Here’s some more detail from their latest report on how far along progress on the app is:
We’ve learned that the development team within Office Mobile finished its work on the project last month, and the efforts of the design group wrapped soon after. The app is now in the hands of a usability team that appraises software that utilizes the Metro design language for “Metro compliance” and suggests changes as needed. When approved by the team, the app likely will go to Apple for app store approval, which could take a couple of weeks.
So the app is very nearly ready to be released according to the above information; which begs the question whey hold it all the way until November. Perhaps to give Windows 8 based tablets a run of a few months of exclusivity on an Office app before letting it hit the iPad – though that window is obviously getting smaller all the time until a Windows 8 tablet is actually released.
In any case, it’s looking more and more likely that we’ll be seeing Office for iPad before the end of this year.