Apple's new fifth-generation iPad mini and resurrected iPad Air were announced this morning, and both of the new tablets are equipped with Apple's latest A12 Bionic processors, initially introduced in the 2018 iPhones.
The first Geekbench benchmark of one of the new iPad models (11,2) surfaced shortly after Apple's announcement, confirming a 2.49GHz clock speed, identical to the iPhone's clock speed. The benchmarked iPad also features 3GB RAM, 1GB less than the iPad Pro and 1GB more than the 9.7-inch iPad. 3GB RAM is also the amount of RAM in the iPhone XR, while the XS and XS Max feature 4GB.
At this point in time, we don't know if iPad 11,2 is an iPad mini 5 or a 10.5-inch iPad Air, but given the similarity in specs between the two tablets, we suspect that both models are using the same clock speed and RAM.
The iPad 11,2 earned a single-core Geekbench score of 4806 and a multi-core score of 11607, which, unsurprisingly, is right on par with iPhone Geekbench results, though a bit faster, perhaps due to improvements in iOS 12.2.
While the iPad Air and the iPad mini 5 appear to feature similar specs and may include the same amount of RAM, we'll need to wait for further Geekbench scores to confirm. We'll update this post when more information is available.
The new iPad Air and the iPad mini 5 are both available for purchase from Apple today and will arrive to customers at the end of March. The iPad Air, which features a 10.5-inch Retina display, Touch ID, a headphone jack, and Apple Pencil support, is priced starting at $499 for 64GB storage.
The fifth-generation iPad mini with a 7.9-inch Retina display, Apple Pencil support, Touch ID, 8-megapixel rear camera, and a headphone jack is priced starting at $399 for 64GB storage.
Pricing is key, with the new iPad Air starting at $499 with Wi-Fi only and $629 with LTE connectivity in the United States. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro started at $649 with Wi-Fi and $779 with LTE connectivity until it was discontinued. Both have 64GB or 256GB of storage, but the new iPad Air lacks a 512GB option.
Design wise, the iPads have a lot of similarities, including dimensions, thinness, and overall appearance. Both have a Touch ID home button, a headphone jack, and a Lightning connector, but the new iPad Air has only two speakers along the bottom, whereas the 10.5-inch iPad Pro has four speakers.
The new iPad Air is available in Silver, Space Gray, and a newer Gold finish that essentially merges the previously separate Gold and Rose Gold finishes that were available for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
Both iPads feature a fully laminated Retina display with a resolution of 2224×1668 pixels and 264 PPI, True Tone, and support for the P3 wide color space, but the new 10.5-inch iPad Air has a 60Hz refresh rate while the 10.5-inch iPad Pro has a so-called ProMotion display with up to a 120Hz refresh rate.
Processor wise, the new iPad Air sports Apple's A12 Bionic chip compared to a slower A10X Fusion chip in the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. The new iPad Air also has dedicated hardware called the "Neural Engine" that handles artificial intelligence and machine learning tasks, while the 10.5-inch iPad Pro does not.
In terms of battery life, both iPads last up to 10 hours per charge, according to Apple's internal testing.
With its lower price point, the new iPad Air has a lower-end 8-megapixel rear camera, compared to a 12-megapixel sensor on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. The rear camera on the new iPad Air also lacks LED flash, optical image stabilization, and Focus Pixels, but one benefit is that there is no camera bump.
The front FaceTime HD cameras are the same 7-megapixel sensors with Live Photos, Retina Flash, and other identical features on both iPads.
As for connectivity, both iPads have 802.11ac Wi-Fi, but the new iPad Air has Gigabit-class LTE versus the 10.5-inch iPad Pro's theoretically slower LTE Advanced support. The new iPad Air also gets a bump to Bluetooth 5.0 versus Bluetooth 4.2 out of the box for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
The new iPad Air starts at $150 less than the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and thus has some tradeoffs: two speakers versus four, no ProMotion display, and a lower-end 8-megapixel rear camera with no LED flash or optical image stabilization.
Both iPads have a 10.5-inch Retina display with 264 PPI, headphone jack, Touch ID, Lightning connector, 7-megapixel front camera, up to 10 hours of battery life, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
The new iPad Air has some advantages: faster A12 Bionic chip vs. A10X Fusion, Gigabit-class LTE vs. LTE Advanced, and Bluetooth 5.0 vs 4.2.
Registered developers can download the new iOS 12.2 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.
iOS 12.2 will see the launch of a new subscription service within Apple News, which Apple is planning to unveil at an upcoming March 25 event. Apple plans to offer unlimited access to magazines and paywalled news services for a single monthly fee, with all of the content available through the News app.
iOS 12.2 expands Apple News to Canada for the first time, with Canadian iPhone and iPad users able to read news stories in English, French, or both. Apple says that during the beta, content will be more limited than it will be when the update is released.
There are four new Animoji included the iOS 12.2 beta, including a boar, a shark, a giraffe, and an owl. Animoji can be used within the Messages and FaceTime apps.
The software introduces initial support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit on third-party TVs in light of recent AirPlay 2 announcements, with a new option for limiting TV access joining the speaker access option in the Home app. There's also a redesigned TV remote in Control Center, and when paired with tvOS 12.2, you can ask Siri to play specific TV shows, movies, and music on your HomeKit devices like the Apple TV.
For some AT&T users, there's a new "5G E" icon for the cellular signal, replacing the standard LTE icon. This is a bit misleading of AT&T, because the iPhone does not support 5G, nor is the network AT&T calls 5G E actual 5G. Instead, it's an upgraded version of LTE, with more info available here.
The Wallet app's interface has been streamlined and tweaked because Apple is planning to introduce support for an Apple credit card that will be made available through a partnership with Goldman Sachs. The credit card could have unique features like rewards tracking, access to balance management tools, notifications about spending habits, and options to set spending limits.
The Downtime feature in Screen Time can be customized by day in iOS 12.2, Apple has made minor changes to some icons (including Apple News, AirPlay, and Remote in Control Center), audio messages are now better quality, and there are new Safari features, with a full list of changes introduced throughout the beta testing period available in our iOS 12.2 tidbits post.
Apple is improving Safari's privacy in iOS 12.2 through a new Motion & Orientation toggle located under Settings > Safari > Privacy >Security, which is disabled by default. The setting needs to be enabled on to allow websites to display content that relies on motion data from the accelerometer and gyroscope in the iPhone and iPad.
iOS 12.2 confirms that Apple is planning to release second-generation AirPods with "Hey Siri" support, thanks to a hidden "Hey Siri" AirPods setup screen in the beta. The inclusion of the AirPods setup option in the beta indicates that Apple could perhaps be planning to release new AirPods when iOS 12.2 is released. There have also been hints of additional work on AirPower, suggesting that product is still coming.
Apple plans to introduce the Apple News service at an event that will take place on March 25, and it's likely the company plans to release iOS 12.2 shortly afterwards to provide iOS users with access to the new subscription options.
The new NanoCell lineup is divided into the Nano 8 and Nano 9 series, with 11 models in total ranging in size from 49 inches to 86 inches. Seven models will be available starting in April, followed by one model in May and three in June. Prices range from $799 to $4,299 in the United States.
AirPlay 2 support will allow users to stream videos, music, photos, and more directly from an iPhone, iPad, and Mac to compatible LG smart TVs, complete with lock screen controls. HomeKit support will enable users to easily control the TVs using Siri voice commands or the Home app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
The new iPad Air is available to order on Apple.com starting today with 64GB and 256GB storage. Apple Store and reseller availability will begin next week. Prices start at $499 for Wi-Fi models and $629 for Wi-Fi + Cellular models in the United States.
Initial launch countries include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE, the UK, and the US.
More countries and regions will follow "soon," including Colombia, Greece, India, Israel, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, and Turkey.
Apple also introduced a new iPad mini with the A12 Bionic chip and first-generation Apple Pencil support. The 9.7-inch iPad was not updated today.
Apple today launched a new fifth-generation iPad mini, featuring an upgraded A12 Bionic processor, first-generation Apple Pencil support, a new advanced Retina display panel, and the same $399 price tag as the previous model.
Apple says that with the new A12 Bionic chip, the iPad mini now delivers three times the performance and nine times faster graphics. Meanwhile the advanced Retina display with True Tone technology and wide color support is 25 percent brighter and has the highest pixel density (3 million) of any iPad.
Elsewhere, an 8-megapixel rear camera brings improved low-light performance and HD video recording, while the front facing camera has been bumped up to 7 megapixels for better-quality selfies and FaceTime HD.
The new iPad also benefits from the same Wi-Fi performance and Gigabit‑class LTE that's built into the latest iPad Pro models, and retains the headphone jack found in previous iPad mini models.
"iPad continues to provide magical new experiences for a growing range of uses where it is the absolute best device, from playing games in augmented reality to note-taking and drawing with Apple Pencil, from streaming HD movies and editing 4K films to learning to develop apps with Swift Playgrounds," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "Today the iPad family takes two big leaps forward with an all-new 10.5-inch iPad Air that brings high-end size, features and performance at a breakthrough price, and a major upgrade to the 7.9-inch iPad mini, which also brings Apple Pencil, Retina display and the A12 Bionic chip to the many customers that love its compact size."
Available in Silver, Space Gray, and Gold, and in 64 and 256GB storage capacities, the new iPad mini starts at $399 for the Wi-Fi model and $529 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. An Apple Pencil (1st generation) is available for purchase separately for $99. Online orders for the new iPad mini begin today on the Apple website, with availability in Apple stores and select resellers starting next week.
In one week, Apple will host a media event in California focused mainly on details about its upcoming TV streaming service. This week, The New York Times published a report about the state of a few shows on the service, hinting at which ones might be available at launch, the issues some partners have with Apple's plans, and more.
According to the story, around 11 projects have either completed filming or are nearing the end of filming, meaning they are the likeliest to appear in the "first wave" of shows on Apple's service. While we'll get the first glimpse at Apple's streaming service next week, the full service isn't expected to launch until later in the year.
Shows that have finished shooting include "Are You Sleeping?" starring Octavia Spencer; Ronald D. Moore's "For All Mankind"; M. Night Shyamalan's thriller series; Charlie Day and Rob McElhenney's unnamed comedy; and "Dickinson" starring Hailee Steinfeld. Looking forward, the number of original Apple productions is expected to increase in 2020.
Apple is said to be using this event to show customers "just how many shows [it] has pulled together," and that its streaming service will be worth checking out at launch. Combined with content purchased from third parties, Apple's offering could put it on par with the size of Hulu, Showtime, or FX, according to The New York Times. Previous rumors have suggested the launch lineup would be predominantly third party content.
More than a dozen people who have had dealings with Apple's TV service did reference concerns about the project in this week's report. Many working with Apple have received "little or no information" regarding the time frame of their shows' release dates, other than vague statements like "later this year, probably fall." Apple has also not divulged marketing plans to its partners.
Apple’s entertainment team has not been totally opaque. It has provided feedback to individuals involved in the shows, but it has been tight-lipped about the marketing and rollout plans. The March 25 event may allay Hollywood’s concerns, but several people involved in the new programs have interpreted the lack of communication as a sign that there may not be a clear game plan.
Apple has also reportedly been "squeamish" when it comes to the portrayal of its own technology in the shows. The company is said to ask specific questions about how iPhones or MacBooks will be used, suggesting that they prefer them to be seen in positive situations.
Apple's "It's Show Time" event will kick off on Monday, March 25 at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park Campus in California. As with most Apple events, it will start at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time or 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The event is also expected to include the unveiling of its expanded Apple News service.
Apple's online store has gone down this morning. The company typically takes the site down pending changes to its product lineup, so we may well see new product announcements later today.
Apple has several rumored products debuting soon, including a new affordable iPad, iPad mini 5, next-generation AirPods, and its long-delayed AirPower wireless charging mat.
At least some of these product announcements were expected to be made via press release during the company's March 25 "It's Showtime" event, which will reportedly be service-focused, but Apple could feasibly announce new products sooner.
Indeed, well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman recently suggested Apple could decide to announce new iMacs and iPads ahead of its upcoming media event in order to underline how much it intends to focus on news and video services.
If Apple was to be planning, say, new iPad and iMac announcements for this week, it would make a real statement about how much it wants to focus its March 25th event on its news and video services.
The war of words has since continued. In a statement issued to Variety, Spotify said "every monopolist will suggest they have done nothing wrong" and that, consequently, Apple's response was "entirely in line" with its expectations.
Every monopolist will suggest they have done nothing wrong and will argue that they have the best interests of competitors and consumers at heart. In that way, Apple's response to our complaint before the European Commission is not new and is entirely in line with our expectations.
We filed our complaint because Apple's actions hurt competition and consumers, and are in clear violation of the law. This is evident in Apple's belief that Spotify's users on iOS are Apple customers and not Spotify customers, which goes to the very heart of the issue with Apple. We respect the process the European Commission must now undertake to conduct its review.
Stanford Medicine researchers presented their findings of the Apple Heart Study at the American College of Cardiology's 68th Annual Scientific Session and Expo in New Orleans today, as noted by Apple in a press release.
Apple and Stanford created the study to evaluate the Apple Watch's irregular heart rhythm notification feature, which occasionally checks the wearer's heart rhythm in the background and sends a notification if an irregular heart rhythm appears to be suggestive of atrial fibrillation.
419,093 people across the United States participated in the study. As part of the study, if an irregular heart rhythm was identified, participants received a notification on their Apple Watch and iPhone, a phone consultation with a doctor, and an ECG patch for additional monitoring.
Study results showed 0.5 percent of participants - approximately 2,095 people - received an irregular heart rhythm notification. Apple says "many participants sought medical advice following their irregular rhythm notification."
Apple COO Jeff Williams:
We are proud to work with Stanford Medicine as they conduct this important research and look forward to learning more about the impact of Apple Watch alongside the medical community. We hope consumers will continue to gain useful and actionable information about their heart health through Apple Watch.
In the 2018 iPhone lineup, Apple introduced the iPhone XR, an iPhone that shares many of the same hardware advancements added in the XS and XS Max, but at a more affordable $749 price tag.
Samsung followed in Apple's footsteps with its own 2019 Galaxy smartphone lineup, introducing the Galaxy S10e alongside the S10 and S10+ with a smaller screen size and a cheaper $749 price point that's meant to compete with Apple's iPhone XR. In our latest YouTube video, we compare Samsung's affordable smartphone option to Apple's.
Samsung's Galaxy S10e features a 5.8-inch 2280 x 1080 OLED display, while Apple's iPhone XR uses a 6.1-inch 1792 x 828 LCD display that Apple calls "Liquid Retina" because it's the company's best LCD to date. Samsung's OLED display is bright, crisp, vibrant, and a close match to the display used in its higher-end smartphones.
Apple's display doesn't look bad, but it can't quite match the quality of OLED. When it comes to cutouts, the iPhone XR uses the same notch as the iPhone XS and XS Max because it has the same Face ID facial recognition system, while the Galaxy S10e uses a unique hole-punch cutout for the front-facing camera that maximizes available screen real estate.
Samsung can't match Apple's facial recognition capabilities, so the Galaxy S10e features a fingerprint sensor built into the power button on the right side of the device. That's a deviation from other S10 devices that have an under-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor.
Apple's iPhones typically beat Samsung's when it comes to processor performance, and it's no different with the XR and S10e. The XR is equipped with Apple's A12 bionic chip (the same chip that's in the XS and XS Max), while all of Samsung's smartphones, S10e included, use the Snapdragon 855. The Snapdragon 855 does not perform as well as the A12 on benchmarks, but these are modern smartphones that excel at everyday tasks.
The S10e is equipped with 6GB RAM, double the RAM in the iPhone XR, but Apple has traditionally made better use of lower quantities of RAM due to deep integration between hardware and software.
Samsung's S10e wins out over the XR when it comes to storage because the base model starts at 128GB of storage (vs. 64GB) and comes with a microSD card slot for expanding space available to you.
Because it has a smaller display, the S10e is lighter and more compact, which is better for one-handed use and closer to the iPhone XS. Both devices have multiple color options, with the XR coming in six shades and the S10e available in four colors with a pearlescent sheen.
Apple scaled back on the iPhone XR's rear camera to cut down on cost, and Samsung did the same thing. The iPhone XR uses a single-lens camera while the other iPhones have dual-lens setups, and the S10e has a dual-lens camera instead of a triple-lens camera. The S10e features both wide and ultra-wide lenses, while the XR only has a single wide-angle lens.
The XR uses software for Portrait Mode photos that have blurred backgrounds, which prevents the feature from working with pets, food, and anything but people, really. The S10e doesn't have that limitation, which, paired with the ultra-wide lens, gives the S10e an edge when it comes to photography. Apple's images are more color accurate and better at accurate exposures.
There are pluses and minuses with both Samsung and Apple's "budget" smartphones. Apple brings Face ID, its faster A-series chip tech, and tighter software/hardware integration (which, arguably, means a longer life and more frequent software updates), while Samsung's S10e has a dual-lens rear camera, an OLED display, and expandable storage.
Do you prefer the iPhone XR or the S10e? Which company did a better job making an affordable device that still has all of the modern tech one might want in a smartphone? Let us know in the comments.
Apple and Qualcomm this week wrapped up a patent trial where Apple was accused of infringing on three of Qualcomm's patents, and the verdict from the jury is in -- Apple violated Qualcomm's patents in its iPhones.
According to CNET, the jury today sided with Qualcomm and said that Apple needs to pay Qualcomm upwards of $31 million, which is the total that Qualcomm had asked for in damages.
The patents in question cover a method for allowing a smartphone to quickly connect to the internet once turned on, graphics processing and battery life, and a method for allowing apps to download data more easily by directing traffic between the processor and modem.
During the trial, Apple argued that one of its engineers, Arjuna Siva, had a hand in inventing the technology included in the first patent mentioned above in an attempt to get the patent invalidated, but the jury did not buy Apple's argument.
Apple will undoubtedly appeal the jury's ruling, and the legal battle between Qualcomm and Apple is far from over. Next month, the two companies will be back in court over a lawsuit that Apple levied against Qualcomm after Qualcomm refused to pay $1 billion in rebate payments.
Yesterday, a preliminary ruling went in Apple's favor, with a U.S. District Judge deciding that Qualcomm is obligated to make the rebate payments to Apple under the terms of the cooperation agreement between the two companies.
Update: In a statement to Bloomberg, Apple said that Qualcomm is trying to distract from "larger issues" with patent infringement claims: "Qualcomm's ongoing campaign of patent infringement claims is nothing more than an attempt to distract from the larger issues they face with investigations into their business practices in US federal court, and around the world."
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