While these aren't the lowest prices that we've ever seen on Apple's iPad Air models, they are the most significant discount that's been offered in the past few months. Best Buy also offers $50 off all iPad models through its educational site, which means students can get an iPad Air for as low as $374.99.
According to our Buyer's Guide, the iPad Air is rated as "Caution" because it's approaching the end of its product cycle. Apple is said to be working on a second-generation iPad Air with Touch ID and an A8 processor that may debut in October. Best Buy's current iPad Air deal is still an excellent way to get an iPad Air at a low price, especially for customers who will not mind the absence of Touch ID.
Best Buy's iPad Air deal is good for one day only and will expire after today.
Alongside the new NFL Now channel on the Apple TV debuting today, ESPN has also expanded its WatchESPN channel to include support for college sports with the SEC Network and Longhorn Network.
The SEC Network is a brand-new television network created through a partnership between the Southeastern Conference and ESPN. The network launched last week ahead of the 2014 college football season with plans to cover at least 1000 live events per year from the conference's 21 sports. The network consists of a standard SEC Network channel, which mirrors featured content from the SEC Network television channel, as well as an SEC Network + channel with additional coverage.
The Longhorn Network is focused solely on the University of Texas at Austin athletic program and is also produced in partnership with ESPN. The network is entering its fourth year of availability, but has just been added to the WatchESPN online service this season.
Both networks were added to the WatchESPN iOS app last week, but it has taken a few extra days to make their way to the Apple TV channel. Access to the content is limited to those who have television subscription packages that include the corresponding channels.
Apple's second-generation iPad Air may get a memory upgrade, bumping it up to 2 GB of RAM instead of the 1 GB in the current-generation device, reports Taiwan's TechNews [Google Translate] (via iPhone in Canada). According to the site, the increased RAM will be limited to the iPad Air, as the second-generation Retina iPad mini is expected to continue to offer 1 GB of RAM.
Apple began offering 1 GB of RAM with the third generation iPad, keeping the same amount of memory in the fourth-generation device and the fifth-generation iPad Air. With such a long span of time between memory upgrades, customers have been wondering when Apple might opt to bump up the RAM in its tablet lineup.
iPad Air 2 mockup with Touch ID home button
Previous generations of the iPad have likely not seen a memory increase in order to keep costs low, save space, and preserve battery, but with some of the upcoming iOS 8 features, more RAM might be a necessity for smooth performance.
Apple is rumored to be working on split-screen multitasking for the iPad Air, a feature that will certainly be more memory intensive than running a single app at a time. The feature is said to allow two apps to run side-by-side on the iPad in multiple sizes, including 1/4, 1/2, or 3/4. While split-screen multitasking is likely to be available on existing devices, it may run better on Apple's upcoming iPad Air, which is also expected to gain a new A8 processor.
Thus far, rumors have suggested that split-screen multitasking will be limited to the iPad Air, though support may come to the iPhone and the Retina iPad mini at a later date. Split-screen multitasking is unlikely to be ready for iOS 8's fall debut, but it may come as part of an 8.1 update.
TechNews also shares some information on Apple's upcoming iWatch, suggesting the device will sport 512 MB of internal memory along with 8 GB of storage, which cannot be confirmed with previous rumors as little is known about the device.
TechNews does not have much of a track record when it comes to Apple rumors, and what it has shared has seen mixed outcomes. The site accurately predicted a sapphire cover for the Touch ID home button ahead of the launch of the iPhone 5s, but it also incorrectly suggested the home button would be capacitive.
Apple is said to be planning an October event to unveil the iWatch, even though the device may not ship until late 2014 or early 2015. That October event may also include the debut of the second-generation iPad Air and the second-generation Retina iPad mini.
The National Football League earlier this month officially launched its NFL Now service, its next-generation video streaming service that provides access to the largest digital library of NFL videos available online. The video content can be viewed on the iPhone, iPad, Mac (via a web browser) and other connected devices such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and as of today, the Apple TV channel that was leaked earlier in the month.
The NFL Now service delivers historic videos, breaking news, game highlights and original programming from the NFL Now studios. Personalization is a key feature -- allowing users to follow their favorite players and teams, with up to 4,800 minutes of team coverage being pushed across their screens each week. The service also will provide live video coverage of important press events and other important moments from the NFL. It will not live stream NFL games that are in progress. Customers who want to watch games as they are happening must download the NFL Mobile app [Direct Link].
NFL Now is available in two tiers, with the free NFL Now service providing access to the core news and video content. Football fans who want even more content and personalization can subscribe to the $1.99 monthly NFL Now Plus service, which offers instant in-game highlights, access to NFL Films videos and the ability to create custom video streams featuring their favorite teams or players.
iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users can download the NFL Now app [Direct Link] from the iOS App Store for free. Mac users can get their fill of NFL coverage via the NFL Now website, while Apple TV channels can access the new channel directly from the main screen on their set-top boxes.
After almost removing itself from the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) registry two years ago, Apple is now leading the charge into the program's new Tablets/Slates category.
As of today, Apple's four iPad models account for 134 of the 135 tablets on the list, although the number of entries appear to be growing nearly by the minute. While Apple is represented by the various configurations of the iPad Air, the iPad mini, the iPad with Retina display and the iPad mini with Retina display, the sole non-iPad model currently on the list is the Dell Venue 11 Pro.
In a blog post announcing the new category earlier this week, Green Electronics Council CEO Robert Frisbee hailed the early inclusion of more than 100 tablets without mentioning that essentially all of them were Apple products.
We are pleased at Participating Manufacturers’ enthusiasm to register these new products. In less than one week more than 100 slates/tablets have been registered in EPEAT, and we expect to see many more in the weeks and months to come. These products are an exciting addition to EPEAT and an important step into reducing the environmental impacts of a major new product type. We are confident the new products are leaders in their category.
Apple has a bit of a rocky history with EPEAT, notifying the environmental assessment service in 2012 that it was withdrawing its products from the registry. At the time, Apple cited "changes in its design direction which were no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements" as the reason for this removal request.
Apple quickly reversed its decision after businesses, municipalities and other Apple customers publicly decried the withdrawal decision. EPEAT also responded with a pledge to work with Apple and possibly adapt its judging standards to be more compatible with the company's cutting edge product designs.
Apple's product lineup is now represented in several EPEAT categories, including desktops, notebooks, displays, integrated desktop computers, and tablets/slates. The company has earned a gold star rating for all of its eligible products, including its difficult-to-repair MacBook Pro with Retina display. This controversial gold rating has prompted some groups to accuse EPEAT of lowering its standards in order to include Apple on the list.
Throughout the past few months, a number of design drawings, physical mockups, and component leaks have hinted at a protruding camera ring camera on the iPhone 6. Initialrumors indicated that the physical feature would be exclusive to the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6, however recentphotos of the 4.7-inch version's rear shell may indicate that it will also include a protruding camera ring.
Now, an alleged schematic shared by Apple.club.tw (Google Translate, via G for Games) once again shows a protruding camera ring on the back of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, which is measured at 0.67-0.77 millimeters. The website also claims that the phone will be 7 millimeters thick, which lines up with the most recent leak showing off the device's rear shell and front panel for the first time.
Additionally, it is claimed that the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 has been given a codename of N56, while the 5.5-inch version is known as N61. This is in line with the code names of prior iPhones, as the CDMA version of the iPhone 4 was known as N92. However, no additional evidence suggests that N56 and N61 are the exact code names of both iPhone 6 models.
Apple will unveil the iPhone 6 on September 9, with a launch for the 4.7-inch version likely coming about a week or so after. It is possible that the 5.5-inch model may launch alongside its smaller counterpart, however production issues may push back its release until late next year or 2015.
Last week, Apple posted retail job listings for a future retail store to be located in the United Arab Emirates, hinting that the company will soon open its first store in the Middle East. Now, Middle East website EDGARDaily.comreports that the store will be located at Dubai's Mall of the Emirates, and will be Apple's biggest retail location to date.
Dubai's Mall of the Emirates
Our undisclosed source said that the store – which will be the biggest Apple has ever built – was originally planned to replace the current cinema complex. The timing of the recent job adverts suggest the store could have a planned opening for the first quarter of 2015.
Dubai's Mall of the Emirates originally opened in September 2005 and boasts more than 700 stores and services over 2.4 million square feet, making it a desirable location for Apple to open a store. In February, Apple CEO Tim Cook was spotted visiting the country, posing for photos at Apple resellers and meeting with UAE Prime Minister Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. While the purpose of his visit was unknown, it is likely that Cook may have been meeting with officials to discuss growth opportunities for Apple in the region.
MacRumors did receive a tip last year claiming that Apple was planning to open its biggest retail store in the world, however that source claimed that it would be located at The Galleria in Sowwah Square in Abu Dhabi. Based on hiring schedules, it is possible that the Apple Store at the Mall of the Emirates could open in February 2015.
Parallels today announced the launch of Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac, the latest version of the company's software for running alternate operating systems like Windows in virtual environments on the Mac. The new version is available today as an upgrade for existing customers, and it will launch on August 26 for new customers.
Parallels Desktop 10 offers a bevy of new features and enhancements, including OS X Yosemite support, iCloud Drive and iPhoto Library support and battery life and performance speed optimizations. The main new features of Desktop 10 include:
- Mac OS X Yosemite integration, iPhone calling integration, iCloud Drive and iPhoto Library support - Now with one click users can select from a number of choices to optimize their virtual machine based on what their primary usage is: productivity, games, design or development. - The new Parallels Control Center is a one-stop-shop for managing Parallels Desktop; it allows users to manage all their virtual machines and configuration settings from a single place. - Users can share files, text or web pages from Windows using Internet accounts configured on their Mac such as Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, Flickr; or send them via email, AirDrop and Messages. - Users can drag and drop files to Mac OS X virtual machines. - Users can now open Windows documents up to 48 percent faster. - Battery life is now extended by up to 30 percent, giving people additional work time when they need it most.
Upgrade pricing for users of Parallels Desktop 8 or 9 is $49.99, while standard retail pricing is set at $79.99 for regular users and $39.99 for students. Parallels Desktop 10 customers also receive a free three-month subscription to Parallels Access that allows Windows and Mac users to use their machines from their iPads.
Apple today updated its professional video editing software Final Cut Pro to version 10.1.3, adding reliability improvements and fixing several bugs. An issue that caused instability when burning a Blu-ray Disc has been fixed, and color corrections pasted between clips are now retained during Share.
The reliability of automatic library backups has been improved, as has the stability of the software when skimming growing files in the browser. A full list of changes can be found below:
- Fixes reliability issues when burning a Blu-ray Disc or creating a Blu-ray disk image - Color corrections pasted between clips are retained during Share - Effects applied to clips in the Browser in prior versions of the app are retained when adding those clips to the timeline - XML round-trip imports correctly when using gap clips - Improves reliability of automatic library backups - Improves stability when skimming growing files in the Browser
Today's minor Final Cut Pro update follows a June update that added a range of new features and improvements. Apple has also updated Compressor to version 4.1.3, fixing several bugs and improving the app's performance.
What's new - Support for Apple ProRes 4444 XQ - Status display and improved responsiveness when using "Send to Compressor" from Final Cut Pro X and Motion - Improved performance and color accuracy when encoding H.264 source files from GoPro cameras - Fixes issues transcoding alpha channels in image sequences - Includes general stability improvements
Amid rumors of both 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch versions of the iPhone 6, speculation about what resolutions Apple will use for the new devices has generated a number of different theories. The most concrete suggestion so far has been a 1704 x 960 resolution that could see the current "2x" Retina display move to an even sharper "3x" display.
A new photo from Russian luxury modified iPhone vendor Feld & Volk [Instagram page] now shows the display of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 under a microscope, with the firm telling MacRumors the panel does indeed carry a resolution of 1704 x 960.
The photograph posted by Feld & Volk does not, however, necessarily appear to agree with that claim, as it seems to show roughly 13 pixels per mm in the horizontal and vertical directions, while a 4.7-inch display at 1704 x 960 should be closer to 16 pixels per mm. The current iPhone 5s display is roughly 10.5 pixels per mm.
A potential answer to this problem arrives in another report today from 9to5Mac, which has discovered references to yet another resolution of 1472 x 828 within recent Xcode 6 beta releases.
This particular file outlines for the system where icons, by default, will be placed on an iPhone’s Home screen. This particular file, which was added in Xcode 6 beta 5 earlier this month and still exists in yesterday’s Xcode 6 beta 6, is optimized for an iPhone with a resolution of 414 (width) x 736 (height). The iPhone SDK parses hardware resolutions via “point values,” so the actual “Retina” resolution is in fact double (or potentially triple) whatever numbers the SDK presents.
While analysis quickly becomes speculative, one way Apple could use both of these rumored resolutions would be to to launch a 4.7-inch iPhone at 1472 x 828 and a 5.5-inch model at 1704 x 960. In that scenario, both iPhone 6 models would have pixel densities of 355-360 pixels per inch. This translates to roughly 14 pixels per mm in each direction, close to what is seen in the Feld & Volk photograph.
Depending on how the rumored 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch sizes have been rounded for convenience, the two iPhone 6 panels could actually offer the exact same pixel density, slightly higher than current iPhones and allowing for efficiencies in the manufacturing process if the same technologies and production methods are used in the two new models.
Apple is expected to introduce the iPhone 6 at a media event on September 9, but it remains unclear whether the company plans to show off both models at the same time, and even it does, there have been rumors that the larger model should ship up to several months later than the smaller version.