iPad Mini to be announced soon? Apple sends out invites for ‘Special Event’ on Oct 23rd

Apple has announced via press invites that a special event will be held on Oct 23rd in San Jose, with the tagline “We’ve got a little more to show you”. The ‘little’ presumably alludes to the long speculated iPad Mini, a more portable iPad that has been rumoured to have a 7.85″ (non-retina) display, a thinner body, a rear facing camera and the new lightning port. With a host of other 7″ tablets flooding the market – most notably the Nexus 7 – it is expected that the iPad Mini’s price point will be an attractive one, possibly in the $249-299 range for a 16GB model. Here are several mockups of what it could look like next to an iPad 2/3.

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Just Landed for iPhone simplifies picking up friends and family at the airport

If you find picking up people from the airport a chore (check flight times, calculate when you should leave home etc.), let Just Landed for iPhone help. It’s currently free, well designed and actually works. Unlike a host of other flight tracking apps available for iOS (i.e Flight Track), Just Landed simply tracks inbound flights. Enter the airline code and flight number, and the app will show the landing time, terminal number and approximate driving time based on traffic conditions. And so long as location services is turned on, it’ll even notify you in the background when the the flight has landed and when you should leave for the airport.

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Control Insect robots from your iPhone and iPad

Sure we’ve seen plenty of iPhone controlled helicopters in the past (like the HELO TC Assault) and even the wacky Sphero ball, but what about insect robots? Brought to you by iHelicopters, an online reseller specializing in i-remote toys and gadgets, the iPhone controlled Beetle and Bug puts you in the driver’s seat of these creepy mechanical critters. By plugging in an IR transmitter into your iDevice and using the free i-Robot app, you’ll be able to move them all about from a distance of up to 6 meters away. Sadly, you won’t be able to make them fly, but just making them crawl near your girlfriend should scare them plenty.

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Latest Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour video shows off killer graphics

Gameloft has released the first Dev Diary video for Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, the highly anticipated FPS and one of the most popular in the genre for iOS and Android. The next installment in the series utilizes the Havoc game engine, which you can thank for its spectacular graphics. One twist that should please gamers is how they’ll only only be able to play as US soldier, but also the president-kidnapping villain, Edward Page. MC4 will also offer a new specialization systems feature that will allow you to choose from several ‘perks’, those of which provide various bonuses to complement different styles of play.

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iPad Mini screen protector product page up on Zagg.com

The iPad Mini hasn’t even been announced yet, but that hasn’t stopped numerous manufacturers in China from selling cases based on (presumably) leaked specs. Now Zagg, makers of the ZAGGFolio Keyboard Case (TMA review) and  invisibleShields for mobile devices, has added a landing page on their website for the Apple iPad Mini Screen Protector. You can’t actually buy it yet, or even pre-order the Mini’s invisibleShield, but it shows that it’s coming soon and there’s an option to submit your email to be notified when it does become available. As it stands, the only option mentioned is the Screen Coverage for $24.99, though it maybe safe to assume that a full body protection coverage option will be offered at a later time.

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Apple’s (Free) App of the Week: LostWinds

Frontier Developments’ highly rated platform adventure title LostWinds is Apple’s App of the Week.

An innovative, fresh platform-adventure bursting with gameplay ideas – wield the awesome elemental powers of Enril the Wind Spirit, from raging tornados to the subtlest breeze, in a stunningly presented combination of combat, exploration and puzzle solving.

Guide and protect Toku, a young boy and the only one who can help you release the curse placed upon the enchanting world of Mistralis and its people by evil Balasar.

Between the gorgeous graphics, choice of touch/d-pad controls and clever puzzles, LostWinds (normally priced at $3.99) is a must-have for fans of platform games. It’s certainly one of my favorites in the genre for iOS. And should you find yourself a fan of Toku, LostWinds2: Winter of the Melodias is also available for $3.99. Video trailer after the break.

LostWinds Frontier Developments, LostWinds - Free

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Apple pays tribute to Steve Jobs

One year ago, on Oct 5th, 2011, Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs died at the age of 56 from pancreatic cancer. Today, Apple pays tribute to the one-of-a-kind visionary with a heartfelt video eulogy on its homepage and a letter from Tim Cook.

Steve’s passing one year ago today was a sad and difficult time for all of us. I hope that today everyone will reflect on his extraordinary life and the many ways he made the world a better place.

One of the greatest gifts Steve gave to the world is Apple. No company has ever inspired such creativity or set such high standards for itself. Our values originated from Steve and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple. We share the great privilege and responsibility of carrying his legacy into the future.

I’m incredibly proud of the work we are doing, delivering products that our customers love and dreaming up new ones that will delight them down the road. It’s a wonderful tribute to Steve’s memory and everything he stood for.

Tim

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Camera+ updated to support iPhone 5′s new and improved low light mode

Camera+, one of the most popular and feature-laden third party camera apps for the iPhone, has just become the first app to support the iPhone 5′s dynamic low light mode. As explained on stage during the official unveiling, the iPhone 5′s camera provides up to 2 f-stops greater low light performance, meaning it can go all the way up to 3200 ISO when needed (vs 800 previously). As explained by Scott Meinzer of TapTapTap:

Apple has added the ability for the sensor in the iPhone 5 to take pictures at 4 times the sensitivity. If you’re a camera buff this means the ISO can go from a limit of 800 before, up to 3200 now!

We’re excited to announce that Camera+ 3.5.1 supports extended low-light shooting on the iPhone 5! To show you exactly what this means we’ve taken a comparison photo with Camera+ on the iPhone 4, iPhone 5, and iPhone 5 with new low-light mode. It adds some additional noise, as you can see in the 100% zoom, but it also enables you to take photos you wouldn’t have been able to take otherwise.

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Street View arrives on iOS 6 via Google Maps web app

While Google has no plans yet for a dedicated iOS 6 Maps app, iOS 6 users (particularly those with an iPhone 5) finally have access to Google Street View for when the need to look up local hotspots in a virtual 360 view arises. If you’ve ever used this amazing tool before, you know just how handy it can be when trying to locate a particular landmark. This is now possible on the latest OS thanks to an updated Google Maps web app, which can be accessed from mobile browsers like Safari or Chrome. Simply head over to maps.google.com on your iDevice, look up a point of interest in the search bar and ballon-shaped markers will be displayed on the map. Tap on one of them and an info bar will appear at the bottom, with options to call, get directions and a person icon for enabling Street View (if not available for the location, it’ll be greyed out). Conversely, you can simply tap on any POIs on the map to bring up said info bar.

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$0.99 iOS deals: Dexter, Resident Evil and more

Several notable iOS games have dropped to just $0.99. With the season premier of Dexter (season 7) airing this past weekend, Dexter the Game for iPhone and iPad are currently on sale for a dollar. It’s the lowest price point ever for both versions and the first time it’s even dropped in price for the iPad (was $7.99). The graphics are slightly dated compared to more recent releases and it’s a bit of the short side, but this action/adventure game is still good fun, especially if you’re a fan of the show. Meanwhile, with the launch Capcom’s Resident Evil 6 on consoles, its mobile counterparts are now also $0.99. They include Resident Evil 4 iPad editionResident Evil 4: PLATINUM and Resident Evil Mercenaries VS. If blasting the undead RE style is your cup of tea, you’ll have until Oct 8th to snag them on the cheap from the App Store. Check out several more $0.99 deals after the break.

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