Second report of 10-inch iPad Pro, along with new iPad mini Pro & refreshed 12.9-inch model

A KGI report in August said that Apple was planning to launch three new iPads in 2017, and suggested that the 9.7-inch model would grow in size slightly to 10.5-inches. A Macotakarapiece today also suggests three new iPad Pro models are coming up in the spring of next year, with some details overlapping the KGI report and others differing.

Makotakara supports the idea of a slightly larger standard-sized iPad Pro, though it suggests the diagonal screen size will be 10.1 rather than 10.5 inches. The larger screen size will be achieved by making the external dimensions 1cm longer and 0.5cm wide, it says …

While some had wondered whether Apple would continue to develop the iPad mini line now that it has larger iPhones, the report says that a new model is on the way, which will also get the ‘Pro’ suffix.

iPad mini 4 will renew as iPad Pro (7.9-inch), get Smart Connector, and change into the specification of 4 speakers audio. Also, the iSight camera of 12 million pixels, True Tone flash, and True Tone display correspondence to Display P3 [DCI-P3 wider color gamut aka True Tone display] seem to be adopted.

The report doesn’t say so, but if the Smart Connector makes it into the iPad mini, it seems likely that it will be included in the 10-inch model too. The report also suggests that all three models will be upgraded to quad microphones.

Finally, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be upgraded to the 12MP camera and True Tone flash from the current 9.7-inch model, along with the True Tone display.

There was no mention of the low-cost 9.7-inch iPad suggested by KGI.

With Apple dropping the 3.5mm headphone socket from the iPhone 7, many of us had wondered whether it would follow suit on the iPad, but Makotakara says not: all three models will retain the socket, it claims. There’s also no word on whether next year’s iPad will retain a mechanical Home button or switch to the touch-sensitive version used in the iPhone 7.

Inateck’s felt sleeve for the iPad mini.

Inateck sleeve for iPad Mini

iPad mini sleeves and bags are nearly a commodity today, with a huge selection of styles and options available for purchase online and offline. Even though the iPad mini is light weight and durable, a carrying case is still essential for any kind of travel for many people. I’ve been using Inateck’s felt sleeve for the iPad mini for the past few weeks and it is a functional light way to protect the 7.9-inch iPad.

The model I’ve been testing, TPBIM, uses a tiny leather flap that folds over and is secured by a magnet, which is meant to keep the iPad mini in place. Even though the flap is tiny and you might think it’s not really necessary to close it, without closing the flap the iPad mini will slide out.

My initial attempt to open the sleeve was to pull up on the snap. The snap is decorative and is securely stitched onto the sleeve. The other side is magnetic and snaps apart allowing the sleeve to be opened

If you notice in the pictures above, the flap does not tightly close the sleeve shut and there is a noticeable gap between the iPad and the sleeve. Even though the sleeve has plenty of wiggle room, you cannot fit the iPad with the Smart Case on, as the Smart Case makes the iPad wider than the sleeve. However, the iPad does fit with the Smart Cover inside the sleeve and does take up some of that extra space.

The sleeve has thick felt padding which adds some cushioning and protection for the iPad mini while carrying it in a bag and prevents the iPad mini from getting scratched or dented. However, it offers little protection for the device being dropped.

Typically most sleeves for the iPad are only functional for carrying the iPad and do not offer the ability to prop up the iPad into a stand. The sleeve is able to folded up into a stand for the iPad. It is surprisingly strong, and displays it at a great angle for watching movies.

Apple iPad mini 3 unboxing and first impressions Video.

ipad-mini-3

Along with Apple’s iPad Air 2, the iPad mini 3 also hit store shelves during a silent weekday release. If you don’t currently own an iPad mini, it’s probably a better time than ever to pick one up, but I wouldn’t really recommend getting Apple’s latest and greatest. Let me tell you why…

Inside of the iPad mini 3, you’ll find a dual-core Apple A7 chip clocked at 1.3GHz, 1GB of RAM, a quad-core PowerVR G6430 GPU, and a 6,470 mAh battery. The iPad mini’s Retina display is 7.9-inches with a resolution of 1,536 x 2,048 (324 ppi). On the back side you’ll find a 5-megapixel shooter, while the front side is home to the 1.2-megapixel FaceTime camera. If any of these specifications sound familiar, it’s because they were also inside of the iPad mini 2.

Apple’s iPad mini 3 is nearly identical to its predecessor. In fact, the only difference between the iPad mini 2 and 3 is the addition of Touch ID and a gold color option. Aside from that, you won’t find any new and exciting hardware. Is this a disappointment? If the iPad lover within you needs to have a gold mini with Touch ID, that’s totally fine, but in my opinion you’re better off purchasing the iPad mini 2 as it’s available for $100 less.

Check out our iPad mini 3 unboxing and first impressions video below:

Keep in mind, the base iPad mini models only come in 16GB configurations. If you’re planning on loading it up with apps and other media, you might want to opt for a 64GB mini 3 at $499 or get a 32GB iPad mini 2 for $349. Apple’s iPad mini 2 is now the only place you’ll find a 32GB configuration for the mini lineup and it might be the best deal if you don’t care about Touch ID.

I’m not sure that the iPad mini 3is  worth upgrading to over the second generation. Here’s my advice: If you’re in the market for a new Apple tablet, save $100 and buy a 16GB iPad mini 2 for $299 or get the 32GB model for $50 more.

The iPad mini finally gets its own MFi game controller.

wikipad

Wikipad, the company behind the Android gaming tablet of the same name, is tossing its Android exclusivity out the window with the announcement of a new iPad mini game controller accessory. The Wikipad 7, which debuted roughly a year ago, features a slide-on controller peripheral that many consider to be a healthy step up from most touchscreen control options, and now the company is bringing a similar product to iPad mini owners.

Most iOS gamers — or mobile gamers in general — are probably not super familiar with Wikipad, as the company’s Android tablet never really gained much traction. It suffered a long-delayed launch, multiple redesigns and changes that may have attributed to a general feeling of confusion surrounding what the device was capable of.

With its iPad mini product, the company should hopefully be able to avoid those potholes as Apple has already taken care of the pesky “creating a great tablet” thing. The accessory, which doesn’t have a price or release date yet, features a full compliment of face buttons, a d-pad, and two analog sticks, all of which are pretty standard at this point.

According to Slide To Play, the current pre-release models consist of two halves connected by a flexible band that stretches behind the tablet itself, though with Wikipad’s habit of redesigning its products after announcing them, that could change.

Surprise! This year’s iPads all likely to have Touch ID.

Image courtesy of iFixit.

Image courtesy of iFixit.

When the iPhone 5s was announced as featuring Touch ID, you could have been forgiven for assuming that the iPad Air and iPad mini would naturally follow suit. Like original thinking from Samsung, however, it never quite materialized — and to this date Apple’s flagship iPhone is the only Apple device to incorporate the technology.

That may be set to change with the arrival of the next generation iPad Air and iPad mini, though.

Reports suggest that TSMC (short for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) provided its first batch of fingerprint sensors to Apple in mid-April: and they’re designed for the iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. The leak supposedly comes from sources within Sazhou Crystal Semiconductor Technology Co., which is one of the subcontractors involved with some of the “back-end” for the project. Another mentioned by the report is Xintec.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard reports that the next generation iPad models will include Touch ID. Photos which showed up in November showed a (potentially spurious) third-generation iPad mini prototype with Touch ID rattling around Asia. More recently a fragment of code from iOS 7.1 suggested the same thing could be true.

While this will remain speculation until we have something more concrete, it’s still exciting news for anyone thinking of picking up a next-generation iPad when they launch.

Source: Cult of Mac.

MagBak Is The World’s Thinnest Wall Mount For Your iPad.

mount

MagBak made a name for itself last year as the maker of the world’s thinnest iPad mount. Consisting of a wall holder (called the MagStick) and a strong, yet thin magnetic grip which adheres to the back of the tablet, the project was a huge success on Kickstarter.

Now the team behind MagBak have returned with their latest product iteration: a MagBak designed for the iPad Air and iPad mini. With around three days to go, the Kickstarter campaign has already raised close to twice its $15,000 funding goal.

Why would you want a MagBak? The answer is simple: as versatile as they are, it’s not always possible to display your iPad in a way that lets you get the most out of it. With the MagBak, it’s easy to attach your iPad Air or iPad mini to the kitchen cupboard and immediately begin chopping vegetables, or to affix it to your office wall for easy reference while using your iMac.

The wall-mounting kit is “damage free,” and it’s impressively strong, so that you (hopefully) won’t hear the heartbreaking sound of your iPad falling to its doom because it wasn’t secured properly.

Although different pricing options are available, the Kickstarter campaign “Basic Bundle” will set you back $34 — including the grip and one MagStic

Source: Cult of Mac.

ClamCase Pro Turns Your iPad Mini Into An Unwieldy Netbook.

ClamCase_Pro_610x474

If you thought that turning the iPad into a laptop by putting it in a case with a hinged keyboard on the bottom was ridiculous, then you’re going to love/hate the ClamCase Pro mini, which turns Apple’s littlest iPad into a tiny MacBook Air. Because why not right?

First, I’ll say I’ve avoided all iPad mini keyboard cases since I tried the originals from Logitech and other respected manufacturers at last year’s CES. The problem? Too damn small. What’s the point of typing on a teeny-tiny little physical keyboard when it offers exactly the same size problems as the tiny on-screen keyboard it replaces.

Better to carry a full-sized Bluetooth keyboard, and keep it in your bag for when you need it. My Logitech K811 weighs just 338 grams (11.9 ounces), which is less than many keyboard cases, and works perfectly with the iPad mini.

If you do opt for something like the ClamCase Pro for the iPad mini, then also consider that, even though it lets you use the iPad at any angle in landscape, and that it flips and folds around the back so you can use the iPad as God intended, doing so means that you are adding the size and weight of a keyboard to your iPad at all times. Which is silly for a full-sized iPad but crazy for the ultra-portable, lightweight mini.

Still not convinced? Fair enough. You can now order a ClamCase for your mini, and it’ll only cost you $130.

Source: Cult of Mac.