Reports are coming in that Apple are preparing an updated version of their iOS mobile operating system to roll out in just as the iPad Mini hits shelves.
Landing in the coming weeks after today's widely expected iPad Mini launch, the update is said to bring with it a number of fixes. iOS 6.0.1 will include a patch to fix a horizontal line bug, which causes some pixel lines to not refresh properly when the keyboard is used or app folders are opened. The update should also bring with it a fix for the camera flash, which some iPhone 5 and iPad users have noted doesn't always go off when required.
Other smaller fixes, such as improved Wi-Fi support, a cellular data switch for iTunes Match, a Passbook lock screen bug and a cellular data reliability enhancement will also land.
A more comprehensive update, bringing brand new features to iOS in the shape of build 6.1, is expected in early 2013.
As for the iPad Mini, it's expected to be revealed at snazzy Apple launch event at 10am West Coast USA time, or 6pm UK time. We'll be offering full coverage of the event throughout the night, so keep checking back for all the details and analysis you can stomach.
Apple have lost their latest UK appeal in their long-running patent dispute concerning their iPad and Samsung's Galaxy Tab range. The High Court has ruled that Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 does not infringe upon the registered design rights for the iPad.
To appease the courts and Samsung's legal teams, Apple now must post a notice on their website for six months stating that Samsung didn't infringe upon its designs, and must supplement this with a series of advertisements stating the same point in major newspapers and magazines.
Judge Sir Robin Jacob explained the court's decision to turn down Apple's appeal against the original ruling:
"Because this case (and parallel cases in other countries) has generated much publicity, it will avoid confusion to say what this case is about and not about," he said.
"It is not about whether Samsung copied Apple's iPad. Infringement of a registered design does not involve any question of whether there was copying: the issue is simply whether the accused design is too close to the registered design according to the tests laid down in the law.
"So this case is all about, and only about, Apple's registered design and the Samsung products."
As you'd expect, Samsung are pretty chuffed with the decision, and released the following statement expressing their joy:
"We continue to believe that Apple was not the first to design a tablet with a rectangular shape and rounded corners and that the origins of Apple's registered design features can be found in numerous examples of prior art.
"Should Apple continue to make excessive legal claims in other countries based on such generic designs, innovation in the industry could be harmed and consumer choice unduly limited."
You wait three years for an iPad Mini to land, then 24 turn up all at once. That's the rumour coming out of 9to5Mac this morning, who've got their hands on an SKU that suggests there will be 24 different versions of the miniature tablet launching on 23 October.
The list shows four different models: P101, P103, P105 and P107. Each of these is then broken down into variant marked as "Good". "Better", "Best", which we're hazarding a guess as being 8GB, 16GB and 32GB storage capacities respectively. Each of these are then given one final variant, "A" or "B", which we're guessing means black or white colours. That makes a grand total of 24 different models.This follows a leak earlier in the week week that suggested there will be both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi and "cellular" (either 3G or 4G) models of the iPad Mini available too.
It's also been suggested that a revised iPad 3 will launch, featuring the new svelte Lightning Bolt charging connection, first seen in the iPhone 5.
With the official launch invite now putting the iPad Mini's grand unveiling down for 23 October, we wont have long now to wait to find out just how many of these rumours prove true.
That's the teasing tagline attached to Apple's latest event invite, confirming the Cupertino company will be hosting a launch bash in San Jose at 10am Pacific time (6pm UK time) on 23 October.
That "little more" is likely a littler iPad, or the iPad Mini that's been rumoured for pretty much as long as Apple have been in the tablet business.
But according to the latest rumours, it's likely to be flanked by one or two other products at the launch, including new iMac and Mac Mini models for 2012, as well as a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
Only a few days now then until all is revealed. As ever, Tech Digest will be on hand to give you all the details from the Apple launch night, so get ready to hunker down with us on the evening of 23 October for all the details and analysis you can handle from our crack team.
We've still yet to get official confirmation that the device even exists from Apple yet, but the iPad Mini leaks are now coming thick and fast. Latest to get the blurry-cam spy-shot treatment is the iPad Mini battery compartment.
An anonymous source has sent MacRumors a shot a Li-on battery, featuring a model number of A1445 and an Apple part number of 616-0641. With a 4,490mAh capacity, it's roughly 3 times bigger than the 1,440mAh battery found in the iPhone 5. That's not to say you'll get three times the battery life from the iPad Mini (there's a larger screen that'll likely eat more power for starters, as well as potentially numerous other details that could play a part in differing power draws), but it certainly puts the battery life on a par with what we expect to be similarly sized tablets such as the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7. They sport 4,400mAh and 4,325mAh batteries respectively.
While there's no guarantee that the leak is legit, or even a finalised component (it's likely a prototype battery build), MacRumors certainly seem to think that the size would be a good fit for a 7.85-inch tablet.
Current rumours put the iPad Mini down for an October 23 unveiling, with pricing hovering around the £200 mark.
A European price list for the iPad Mini has been leaked, suggesting Apple will be aggressively pricing their minuscule tablet.
German site MobileGeeks claim to have got their hands on an inventory list used in Europe and Asia which gives pricing details of every single iPad Mini models set for release, with the price given in Euros. If their information is to be believed, the 8GB entry-level iPad Mini will cost just €249, roughly £200, or $320.
That's an incredibly competitive price point, putting it in the same bracket as the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 Android tablets.
All in, the leaked inventory gives details of eight separate iPad Mini models, with 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variants available, with Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi + Cellular connections rounding off the eight. No word yet on whether cellular means 3G or 4G, but fingers crossed for the latter.
That puts the top-spec 64GB iPad Mini with Wi-Fi and Cellular connection at €649, or just over £520.
Not exactly pocket money, but not exactly bank-breaking either, across the range. It's a smart move by Apple, offering a cheap entry level and still ramping up the options for those who must have the very best of anything Apple branded. Expected to be revealed in just under a fortnight's time with sales opening soon afterwards, this could be a massive Mini hit this Christmas.
"Mini" is the new black, if the latest Apple hardware rumours are to be believed. Two long-rumoured, small-statured, Apple products, the iPad Mini and 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, are being tipped to land on the same day, according to a new report from 9to5Mac.
A "consistently reliable source at a high-profile US retailer" has pooh-poohed claims that the devices will each headline separate events a few weeks apart, instead stating that Apple will pull both highly-anticapted devices together for one product showcase.
9to5Mac have also been told that the new Retina MacBook will come in two different configurations, with pricing dictated by the power of each configuration's processor.
As for the exact launch date of each product, we're still none-the-wiser. The latest rumours tip the iPad Mini unveiling to be on 23 October, with the device landing in stores a few weeks later. If this rumour is to be believed, you could expect the smaller Retina MacBook Pro to be available before the year is out.
Apple had received reams of bug-spotting information concerning Apple Maps from iOS developers long before the company launched its beleaguered cartography application, it has been revealed.
Speaking to CNET, a number of anonymous app developers have claimed that they had used Apple's Radar bug-reporting system to highlight issues with Apple's new mapping system following the removal of Google Maps, a service that many app developers relied upon to power sections of their own applications.
"I posted at least one doomsayer rant after each (developer) Beta, and I wasn't alone," revealed one developer.
"The mood amongst the developers seemed to be that the maps were so shockingly bad that reporting individual problems was futile.
"What was needed wasn't so much an interface for reporting a single point as incorrect, but for selecting an entire region and saying 'all of this - it's wrong.'"
A separate developer shared similar experiences, hitting a brick wall with Apple who only admitted to recognising "known issues" with the service:
"During the beta period I filed bug reports with Apple's Radar system posted on the forums several times, and e-mailed multiple people within Apple's MapKit team to voice our concerns.
"This has been a frustrating experience for us and we don't care where the imagery comes from, we just would like our customers to be able to have the same experience within our app when they update from iOS 5 to iOS 6.
"Instead, the OS upgrade broke some of the features we built within our application despite being told that only the imagery would be swapped out."
Since its public launch back in the middle of September, the backlash against Apple Maps has been so great that it inspired a rare apology from Apple, with CEO Tim Cook admitting there were significant problems with the service yet to be fixed. He even recommend rival services like Nokia Maps, Bing Maps and (begrudgingly) Google Maps in the meantime.
It still technically doesn't even exist yet, but analysts are already predicting shortages for Apple's iPad Mini.
Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets expects suppliers will find it "challenging" to meet demand when the 7.85-inch tablet lands, with production yields proving so "frustrating" that Apple have perhaps even pushed back a planned September launch.
Regardless, White believes that the iPad Mini launch sits just over the horizon:
"Despite continued yield challenges, the supply chain feels the much anticipated iPad Mini is on track to reach acceptable volume levels for a launch over the next month.
"That said, we believe that supply constraints will initially hold back the full sales potential during the first month or so of the launch."
The iPhone 5 has suffered similar delays, with shipping times slipping to between three to four weeks.
Moving onto pricing, White puts the iPad Mini at a competitive $250/$300, still significantly cheaper than the full size iPad, but not enough to undercut the Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire. Even at that slight premium, White still expects strong sales, buoyed by the brand awareness now characterising the iPad's dominance in the tablet market:
"Despite the low price point, we expect Apple to maintain the iconic aesthetics of the current iPad and blow away what competitors are offering in this smaller form-factor tablet market."
Google are set to strike another stake into the heart of Apple Maps this week, by introducing their Street View feature to their Google Maps web app.
Since being pulled from iOS6 in favour of the frankly broken Apple Maps, Google have seen hordes of iPhone users flock to the browser-based version of their mapping service. Though far more comprehensive than Apple's mapping offering, the browser-based version of Google Maps was missing a key feature that iPhone fans used to enjoy and Android fans still have - Street View, the ability to get ground-level photographed mapping of your immediate surroundings. But according to the Wall Street Journal, that now too is being added to the web app, making Apple's cartography service fall even further behind.
"Google plans to announce on Thursday that it is adding its popular Street View feature, missing from Apple's maps, to the Web version of Google Maps accessed from the iPhone and iPad," said the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg.
"I tested this addition, which displays 360-degree photographic street views of selected locations, and interior photographic views of certain businesses, using sample links Google sent me. These links worked well, allowing me to see the locations and pan around with a finger."
We'll bring updates on Google's improved mapping service once the features go live.
With the iPhone 5 launch hysteria having suitably died down, Apple are now turning their sights to their next big launch. Or should that be miniature launch? Apple are rumoured to be sending out invites to the launch of their iPad Mini tablet device on 10 October.
The source, said to be a "major Apple investor", has told Fortune that a 7.85-inch iPad will definitely land before the year is out, and will be significantly cheaper than the standard iPad.
If invites do indeed land on 10 October, convention puts the actual launch event at a week later, being on 17 or 18 October. Fortune suggest a retail date for the device could be as soon as 16 days later, on Friday 2 November. That's be a slightly longer wait than the 9 days between the iPhone 5's unveiling and shipping dates.
Either way, the iPad Mini is looking like more of a certainty with each passing day. We'll keep you posted with all the latest rumours and news as we get it.
All done with the iPhone 5 now? Yeah? Good. Because this morning we bring you the best look yet at Apple's next big thing, the iPad Mini. Or should that be the next small thing?
Popping up on French blog NowhereElse and Chinese site BoloPad, it looks pretty much exactly how you'd expect it to - an iPad that'd fit snugly in a single hand.
A 7 inch tablet, with both front and rear cameras (unlike the original iPad, suggesting Apple will be looking to at least match the iPad 2 on the specs front), it uses Apple's new, smaller Lightning dock connector, but the same wake/sleep, volume and mute/orientation buttons and switches as the full-fat version.Either side of the lower-edge dock connector looks to have perforations for better sound output.
However, there's an unusual hole just slightly above the Apple logo on the rear backplate, which we've no explanation for. Perhaps an early production fault? A cooling vent? Or is Apple squeezing in something new?
No word on the display (the lack of iOS 6 in the above images, revealed by the legacy YouTube and Google Maps apps) suggest a mock-up display in use here, but it's unlikely Apple will drop Retina resolutions from their big Christmas gadget, if this does indeed launch before the holidays.The same goes for the processor. Are we looking at the iPad's A5X, or the new A6 seen in the iPhone 5? And pricing: is the Mini set to take on the cheap-as-chips Kindle Fire 7" and Google Nexus 7, or more expensive Microsoft Surface?
What with the annual Apple music event, usually reserved for iPods and iTunes, seemingly crammed in with the iPhone, we're now expecting the October event to be handed over to the iPad Mini. We may well have concrete iPad Mini information sooner than you'd think for.
With the original in the series already boasting over 1 million players, VS. Racing 2 lands on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, looking to cement its title as the best arcade racer on the App Store. Can it claim the chequered flag, or does it wheelspin off course? Read on to find out!
VS. Racing 2 is all about the thrill of the race. There's next to no under-the-bonnet tinkering to deal with, no simulation-level control schemes to learn. Heck, there isn't even an acceleration button! In the same spirit as classic arcade racers such as Super Offroad or Indy Heat, it's a rough and ready scramble for the finish line. And it's easily one of our favourite racers on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.
Viewed from a top down perspective, VS. Racing 2 wrestles control of acceleration and braking out of your hands, leaving you just to steer. As a result, it's all about finding the best racing line, and pulling off clever power slides with which to overtake your competition. Races are short and blisteringly fast, with winding hairpin turns and challenging-but-fair rival AI-controlled racers in the campaign mode. Maybe it's just the tension of each race, but we get the feeling that developers Maciek Drejak Labs crank up the acceleration and speed in the final lap of each race, adding to the excitement and risk of pulling a sharp corner. It's great fun, with races the perfect length for short-burst, on-the-go play, but with enough addictive best time chasing and race rank challenges to keep you hooked for longer sessions.While the usual tap to steer and accelerometer controls are available, you're unlikely to use them very often as the default onscreen virtual steering wheel works so well. Placed on the lower right hand side of the screen (which may prove slightly uncomfortable for lefties), it sits nicely under the thumb, letting you easily and responsively guide your car around the twisting tracks. There's a slight learning curve (lifting your finger off the wheel during a race resets it to a neutral position, meaning you can wildly veer off course if you're not careful), but once you get the hang of its quirks it's an accurate and fun way to drive.
A lengthy campaign mode spans 36 tracks, with plenty of unlockable, upgradeable cars to pick from. Upgrades are earned by collecting coins during races, which are dished out for wins and silky driving skills, such as dangerous overtakes or lengthy power slides. Coins can then be used to boost stats like top speed and acceleration. There's also plenty of in-app purchases available, but thankfully they're not necessary to compete at the top levels, and any advantages they offer can easily be accrued through skill alone in the campaign mode. Once you've beaten each track, you can then re-try them and chase a perfect 3-star rating on each, tracking your line and best time, in a similar way to Angry Birds, and just as addictive.Multiplayer options include 6-player local races over Wi-Fi, or 4-player over Bluetooth. The speedy racing action gets even more hairy here, with on-the-road power ups including nitro boosts, oil slicks, heat-seeking missiles and flaming bonnets letting you take out opponents as well as beat them to the line in a more traditional manner. Game Center integration allows for extra multiplayer options, including asynchronous Ghost Races against remote pals, letting you test their best times at your leisure.
Visually, VS. Racing 2 isn't mind-blowing; it is, after all, a top-down 2D racer. However, it's pin-sharp on a Retina display device, with detailed, colourful tracks, and plenty of nice graphical flourishes including offroad dirt clouds and smokey tire spins. It fits the arcade style thrills to a tee.
We love VS. Racing 2. Perfect in short bursts and longer sessions alike, it's an exciting racer that controls well, has great multiplayer options, addictive challenges and real pick-up-and-play simplicity without scrimping on features and a fairly stiff difficulty towards the end of the campaign. VS. Racing 2 costs just 69p, making it quite the bargain too. Racing fans would be doing themselves a disservice to miss it. You can snap up VS. Racing 2 by clicking here.
How badly do you want a new iPhone 5? Enough to risk your liberty by smashing a car through the front window of an Apple retail store?
That's what this incredible footage shows, as thieves laid waste to the Temecula Apple Store, grabbing valuable iPhones and iPads that are scattered across the shop floor in the ensuing chaos.
Having said all that, this footage pre-dates Wednesday's iPhone 5 announcement by about a week, meaning the thieves are probably grabbing iPhone 4S handsets.
If only they'd waited a few days, they could have been arrested for stealing iPhone 5s instead! The smartphone smash-and-grabbers managed to get their licence plate stuck in the store's security grating on the way out (FAIL), and were swiftly caught by the cops.
Sky have introduced a massive update to their Sky+ app for iPad, allowing you to turn your tablet into a remote control for your Sky box.
You can now use the app to change channels, play recorded shows, pause and rewind live TV and manage your planner and library of recordings with touch and gesture controls. The TV guide gets a new look too, with an emphasis on search as well as browsing functionality.
"The Sky+ app has proved hugely popular, with millions of Sky customers embracing the convenience of being able to set recordings of their favourite shows while they are on the move," said Luke Bradley Jones, Brand Director, TV Products.
"We're now taking the Sky+ experience one step further, handing our customers even more control over their planner - not to mention being able to use the app to change channel and play, pause and rewind their favourite TV.
"Today's update marks a major step forward in using mobile apps to make the Sky TV experience even better. And it's just the start, as we'll be following it up with a series of further enhancements later this year."
Sky have also confirmed that second-screen sharing functionality will be coming to the app later in the year, as well as integration with the social TV viewing app Zeebox.
Despite stiff competition from the Samsung Galaxy Tab range, Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire, Apple's iPad continues to dominate tablet sales, with a 68% market share.
New second quarter data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that Apple shipped 17 million iPads during Q2, up from 11.8 million units in the first quarter, a boost likely attributable to the new iPad 3rd generation launch.
Their nearest competitor in the tablet market is Samsung, who managed a comparatively paltry 2.4 million units shipped over the same period. This however marks exponential growth for Samsung, experiencing a 117.6% rise in sales when compared to the same period a year earlier.
"Apple built upon its strong March iPad launch and ended the quarter with its best-ever shipment total for the iPad, outrunning even the impressive shipment record it set in the fourth quarter of last year," said Tom Mainelli, research director, Mobile Connected Devices.
"The vast majority of consumers continue to favor the iPad over competitors, and Apple is seeing increasingly strong interest in the device from vertical markets--especially education. While iPad shipment totals are beginning to slow a bit in mature markets where the device saw early traction, growth in other regions is clearly more than making up the difference."
In terms of worldwide tablet sales, 25 million slates of all brands are estimated to have been sold during Q2 of 2012, up from 18.7 million in the first quarter of 2012 (with that rise likely down to the new iPad and Nexus 7 launches), and growing a massive 66.2% over the 15 million units shifted in the second quarter of 2011.
It seems the post-PC revolution is finally kicking into gear.
Sky have added iPhone and iPad apps to the list of ways you can now access their new movie streaming service, Now TV.
Launching earlier this month, Now TV offers access to Sky's movies content without the need for an expensive Sky satellite TV subscription. £15 a month nabs a Sky Movies Pass for unlimited streaming on the service, while individual titles can be rented for between 99p and £3.49. A 30 day trial is also available, with the platform accessible to PC and Mac users through a web browser too.
"Building on the increasing popularity of watching TV over the internet, NOW TV offers access to Sky Movies - the UK's most popular subscription movies service - in a new way," reads the Sky press release.
"It is easy, flexible and great value - with no contract, set-up costs or installation."
For more on Now TV, check out our full review.It's a promising start for the service, but there's still some features that need to be added and some bugs that need to be ironed out before it gets our full seal of approval. Sky promise to add entertainment and sports content later in the year, which could deliver the boost the service needs to take on rivals LOVEFiLM and Netlfix.
Apple have been ordered by a UK judge to publish notices on its website and in a number of leading publications stating that Samsung's Galaxy Tab does not copy the design of the iPad.
After months of duking it out in the courts, Samsung were awarded a back-handed victory in the courts, with the judge stating their device wasn't "cool" enough to be mistaken for Apple's. Apple will now have to post a notice on their website for six months stating that they were wrong to claim Samsung had copied their ideas, and do the same with a number of public notices in newspapers and magazines.
Apple obviously find the ruling harsh, stating that it's almost the same as promoting a rival through their own promotional channels.
"No company likes to refer to a rival on its website," said Richard Hacon, one of Apple's legal team.
However, in what seems to be a slight legal loop-hole, once Apple have published the notices, they are free to once again publicly claim the Galaxy tablets infringe on iPad designs, following a previous failed injunction in the US that saw Samsung attempt to prevent them from doing so. Judge Briss, who sided with Apple in the case, stated that the Cupertino company were "entitled to their opinion."
Those iPad Mini rumours just won't go away, with the New York Times the latest publication claiming to have met with a source confirming its existence.
Speaking with "several people with knowledge of the project" over in Cupertino, the New York Times are now stating that Apple are indeed lining up a release for the pint-sized tablet this year. The NYT have even stuck their necks out with a specific size, claiming that it will land with a 7.85-inch screen.
With a smaller screen also looks set to come a smaller price tag, with the New York Times stating that the iPad Mini will be priced significantly cheaper than its $499 9.7 inch older brother.
Former Apple manager Leslie Grandy (now a start-up consultant) stated that she believed there was definitely a market for the smaller iPad, pointing particularly to handbag-weilding female commuters.
"I really do feel like this is the sweet spot for them", she said.
However, Apple will face stiff competition in the 7-inch tablet space. As well as Google's forthcoming Nexus 7 tablet, the Cupertino company will be going head-to-head with the Amazon Kindle Fire, which itself is expected to have a successor before the year is out.
Tech retail chain Currys and PC World have revealed their top ten predictions for Christmas best sellers, which includes an intriguing reference to an Apple "mystery product".
Could this be the iPad Mini that's been circulating in rumours almost immediately after the launch of the original iPad?
"The only product likely to knock the iPad off the number one spot is Apple's latest launch, a product still to be revealed", reads the press release. As neither PC World nor Currys stock the iPhone, this is unlikely to refer to the iPhone 5, and with iPod sales slowing and Mac products too expensive to make top 10 lists, a mini iPad seems a reasonable punt.
Mark Hosgood, Category Manager for e-readers and tablets, teased: "While it's no surprise that the likes of the iPad and Kindle are going to be on everyone's gift lists this year, we also think the tablet market as a whole could be a big winner. We are already selling three times as many tablet devices as we were this time last year, and I expect this number will continue to rise as we get closer to Christmas.
"Tablets have simply become one of the most popular gift options for customers. There's much more of a variety on the market, the technology is miles more advanced, and the prices are coming down significantly so you're always likely to find something suited to your budget. For example, you can pick up a decent tablet for as little as £79. The Google Nexus has already exceeded pre-order expectations in three days, and it's clear that becoming a tablet owner is top of everyone's Christmas wish list this year."
The list in full is as follows:
1 Apple new iPad, from £399.99
2 Kindle e-reader, from £89
3 Google Nexus 7 tablet, £199.99
4 Apple mystery product, £TBC
5 Krups, Dolce Gusto, from £89
6 Kindle Fire, £TBC
7 Goji Tinchy Stryder: On Cloud 9 headphones, from £19.99