With just 2 days to go before the iPad mini’s worldwide launch in 26 countries, the reviews have started to hit the web. Tech bloggers from Jim Dalrymple of The Loop to The Verge’s Joshua Topolsky have all found the mini to be beautifully made, light and easy to hold with just one hand. Not surprisingly, the one thing most noted the 7.9″ tablet could use is a Retina display. While it’s still a good display by many accounts, those used to Apple’s high-res screen on the iPhone 5 and newer iPads will no doubt find that text isn’t nearly as sharp. That said, and despite its $329 price tag, the reviews are still calling the iPad mini the best ‘small’ tablet money can buy. The roundup after the break.
We’re working together with the team at Free App Alliance to highlight a great free app for you to check out everyday.
DrawRace 2 is an award-winning racer that’s packed full of content, including a gymkhana skill game and a single-player campaign that features no fewer than 180 challenges.
In this high-speed racer, you navigate your motor around a series of detailed top-down tracks by drawing your vehicle’s path with your finger. The speed at which you trace the racing line on your device’s screen dictates the acceleration and deceleration of your car. Don’t expect an easy ride, basically. DrawRace 2 and DrawRace 2 HD for the iPad are both currently free for a limited time.
As revealed during Apple’s recent media event, the iPad mini is now available for pre-orders on Apple.com (in the US and 25 other countries). While the Black & Slate color is showing a November 2nd delivery date in all capacities, the White & Silver appears to be the more popular choice (either that or stock was limited to begin with) as its shipping date has been pushed back to 2 weeks. The 16/32/64GB Wifi only models go for $329/$429/$529, and the Wifi+Cellular have a $130 premium, at $459/$559/$659. If you’re planning on ordering the Wifi+3G/LTE mini, do note that these won’t ship until mid – late November, depending on what country you live in. Apple will also launch the iPad mini in stores on Nov 2nd, so there’s still a chance to line up and grab those shiny white ones sooner rather than later.
Languages, brought to you by Sonico (iTranslate+) and Tapity (Grades 2), may very well be the last translator you’ll ever need on your iPhone or iPod Touch. It’s not only beautifully designed and works offline, but it’s also just $0.99. Twelve complete language dictionaries are included (Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch etc.), so there’s no need for internet access to look up words and phrases – most ideal for when traveling with your iDevice.
Besides using my iPad 3 for surfing the web, working on TMA articles when I’m on the road or watching movies/TV shows, I love my PDF apps for reading ebooks, documents and magazines. For the longest time, my two favorite have been the ever reliable GoodReader and PDF Expert. However, I recently came across a lesser known app in the crowded genre by Com-Tec-Co – PDF Cabinet – and it’s quickly won me over. Not only is it well designed, but it’s also got one of the most intuitive and easy to use annotations interface I’ve come across.
The new version of the iBooks app showcased during this afternoon’s Media Event is now live on the App Store. The 3.0 update shows all your ebooks purchases in the cloud right from the bookshelf (iOS 6 only), as well as an all new scroll theme that lets you continously scroll through your ebooks should you wish to ditch the page turns. And sharing quotes is now made possible by highlighting selected text, and sharing them via Facebook, Twitter, Messages or Mail. Here’s the complete list of What’s New:
Introducing iBooks 3
• See all your iBookstore purchases in iCloud—right on your bookshelf with iOS 6
• Scroll vertically through your books with the flick of a finger using the new Scroll theme
• Receive free updates to purchased books—including new chapters, corrections, and other improvements
• Look up definitions for words in German, Spanish, French, Japanese and Simplified Chinese with iOS 6
• Share quotes or thoughts about your favorite book with friends on Facebook, Twitter, Messages, or Mail
Apple, iBooks – Free
Just as the iPad mini has shrunk down in size, Apple’s Smart Cover has done likewise to protect the iPad mini’s 7.9-inch screen. The biggest difference from before is that the metal hinge that snaps onto the iPad’s side has been replaced by a new design that essentially wraps the device in a single piece of polyurethane material.
The cover that wakes up, stands up, and brightens up iPad has been redesigned for iPad mini.11 And what a smart pair they are. iPad mini and the iPad mini Smart Cover, that is. Magnetic technology built into each one really pulls them together. The Smart Cover snaps perfectly into place to protect your screen — without adding bulk. Open the Smart Cover and your iPad mini wakes up. Close it and your iPad mini goes to sleep. Fold the Smart Cover and it becomes a stand. It’s all just so, well, smart.
The iPad mini Smart Cover will come in 6 colors and retail for $39. Check out the official Apple video after the break.
The 13-inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display joins its bigger 15-inch sibling with the distinction of having the highest resolution found on any laptop. Announced during today’s Apple Media Event, the new 13.3 inch MBP has a Retina Display with 2560 x 1600 pixels (the 15-inch version has 2880 x 1800 pixels), which is nearly double the pixels found on an HDTV. The screen has 29% higher contrast ratio, 75% reduced reflection, IPS technology for 178 degree viewing angle and 300 nit brightness. Just as impressive is that it’s only 0.75 inch thick and weighs 3.57 pounds, nearly a pound lighter than its 13-inch predecessor.
The iPad Mini product page is now live on Apple.com. Head over to get a closer look at the latest 7.9-inch iPad and see for yourself why it’ll blow all other similarly sized tablets out of the water. The nearly 5 minute intro video to the iPad Mini has also been uploaded, so be sure to check that out if you missed the live stream earlier.
Update: the iPad Mini intro video has been embedded below.
After months of endless speculation, Apple has finally unveiled the iPad Mini. This slick iPad has a 7.9 inch diagonal display and is just 7.2mm thick, which is 23% thinner than the original iPad. Phil Schiller has compared it to being as thick as a pencil and as light as a pad of paper. Here are the iPad Mini’s main features:
- 1024×768 resolution – same as the original iPad
- Weighs only 0.68 pounds
- Dual-core A5 chip
- FaceTime HD camera
- 5 megapixel iSight on the back
- LTE support
- 10 Hour battery life