Mac

Apple Announces ‘Hello Again’ Event on October 27th for New Macs

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Yesterday, Apple confirmed their final special media event this year. It will be held at Apple’s Cupertino campus at 10am PDT on Thursday, October 27th. The company is expected to announce updates to the Mac lineup with a redesigned MacBook Pro and discontinued MacBook Air.

It has been a while since Apple’s computers have been updated and rumors suggest updates to the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iMac. The MacBook Pro will have new design with a OLED touch panel on the keyboard, likely called (more…)

Expectations for WWDC 2016: iOS 10, watch OS, tvOS, Apple Pay

Expectations for WWDC 2016
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It is that time of year again; a couple of days before Apple’s next special media event where we expect the company to reveal a plethora of new products. The Worldwide Developer’s Conference kicks off on Monday at 10am PDT with a keynote from Tim Cook and company about the latest software updates for iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, Apple Watch, and Mac. Based on what we have heard so far, here are our expectations.

iOS 10

Expectations for WWDC 2016

The tenth generation operating system for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch is practically guaranteed to be announced next week. The major software update will bring many new features with a slightly refreshed user interface. For general updates we will see tweaks to icon designs, more colorful notifications, and the San Francisco font in every app. The Music app will be overhauled with more black and white colors, prominent album artwork, updated menu tabs, and 3D Touch shortcuts for the iPhone 6s/6s Plus. The Photos app will receive enhancements with more professional editing tools and Markup functionality. Siri will also be coming to third-party apps with a specially designed Siri SDK. Finally, the software will have a new encryption and security features to protect the data on it.

The iOS 10 update will be released to developers on Monday, to those in the public beta program in July, and to the general public in September.



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watch OS and tvOS

Expectations for WWDC 2016

credit: Engadget

Expectations for WWDC 2016

The next software update for the Apple Watch (watchOS) and the Apple TV (tvOS) is practically guaranteed to be announced too; however, there have been no rumors about what the software will bring. Since the Apple TV (4th generation) and Apple Watch are relatively new products, we will likely see an update for both that polishes their systems. I hope that the Apple Watch will, at the very least, get an update in speed for looking at Glances and opening some apps.

The watchOS and tvOS updates will be released to developers on Monday and to the general public in September.

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OS X

Expectations for WWDC 2016

credit: 9to5Mac

Expectations for WWDC 2016

The next generation operating system for Mac is underway with the biggest features being around the new branding and Siri. Apple has accidentally leaked several times that they will be changing the name from “OS X” to “macOS” or “MacOS.” They have used both names on their website. The actual name for the software is currently unknown, but it will likely be something from Yosemite National Park. This falls in line with other previous OS names, like “Yosemite” and “El Capitan.” Additionally, Siri will be coming to the Mac with the same capabilities she currently has on the iPhone.

The macOS (or MacOS) update will be announced and released to developers on Monday, released to those in the public beta in July, and then available for download for everyone else in the fall.

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Apple Pay

Expectations for WWDC 2016

credit: Apple

Expectations for WWDC 2016

Apple is steadily bringing new banks and credit unions to their quick payment system. In the United States, we usually see support from twenty to sixty new financial institutions every month. Recently KFC has announced that it will now accept Apple Pay as payment. The next step of Apple is to further incorporate this into their apps like Safari and Messages. In Safari, users will be able to pay for purchases online with Apple Pay instead of entering in their credit card information. Additionally, the Messages app may be updated with person-to-person payments. Both of these have been rumored to be a part of the Apple Pay update, but they may not be announced on Monday.

 

Apple Smart Speaker (name?)

Expectations for WWDC 2016

Apple Speaker concept, credit: @JRESHOW on YouTube

Expectations for WWDC 2016

Apple is rumored to be working on their own version of Amazon’s Echo smart home speaker to be used with Siri. It will control many of your home’s functions, like adjusting the lighting, with HomeKit-compatible hardware and software. It may also house a camera that will detect who is in the room around it using facial recognition and use this information to select the person’s preferences like favorite music or playlists. Rumors originally suggested that it would be announced at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference with a release either in late 2016 or early 2017, but many sources have confirmed it will not be at the event.

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Apple Watch 2

Expectations for WWDC 2016

Apple Watch 2 concept, credit: Eric Huissman

Expectations for WWDC 2016

The second generation Apple Watch is currently in development and is planning to be announced/released this year. We are expecting a watch that is not dependent on the iPhone for functionality, a 20% to 40% thinner design, a front camera, and models made of new materials (perhaps tungsten or platinum.) Rumors have also suggested that it will have a cellular chip or a Wi-Fi chip inside so it would not need the iPhone for connecting to the Internet.



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iPhone 7

Expectations for WWDC 2016

iPhone 7 concept, credit: Martin Hajek

Expectations for WWDC 2016

The next generation iPhone is expected to be announced this year with the same overall design as its predecessor, the iPhone 6s. The phone will have less antenna lines on the back with no headphone jack and a thinner Lightning port. Additionally, the camera module will further differentiate the smaller, 4.7″ iPhone, from the larger, 5.5″ iPhone. The smaller phone will have a single camera and the larger phone will have a dual camera. Both phones will be powered by the A10 processor, have more RAM, and a higher starting storage capacity of 32GB.

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Apple TV Internet Streaming Service

Expectations for WWDC 2016

Expectations for WWDC 2016

The Internet TV streaming service was expected to be announced alongside the Apple TV 4th generation in September 2015, but it was not ready yet. The service was rumored to be available for $30-$40 per month and come with about twenty-five channels from major networks. Nearly a year after the expected announcement date, the streaming service has not been announced but it is still rumored to come eventually. While it is not likely we will see it on Monday, I wanted to briefly mention it since it was also a part of our WWDC 2015 keynote expectations.

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The Worldwide Developer’s Conference will kick off at 10am PDT, or 1pm EST,  in California and it will be live-streamed for all to watch. To add it to your calendar and watch it, click here.

Apple offers free Beats headphones with Mac, iPhone, iPad for college

Apple Back to School 2016
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On Wednesday, Apple announced this year’s edition of their Back to School promotion. With every eligible Mac, iPad, or iPhone purchase for college, Apple is giving free wireless Beats headphones. This is in addition to their education pricing which takes $200 off the price of a Mac and $20 off the price of an iPad.

Apple Back to School 2016

Apple announces Back to School sale, via Apple

The iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac Pro are eligible to purchase for the promotion and they come with Solo2 Wireless Headphones. These Beats headphones retail for $299. Although the Mac mini is listed on the sale page, it is not eligible for the free headphones.

The iPad Pro is the only eligible tablet and the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus are eligible smartphones. Each of these comes with the Powerbeats2 Wireless Headphones worth $199. Apple notes in the terms and conditions that the headphones are upgradable to the Solo2 Wireless Headphones for an additional $100. The iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4, iPad mini 2, and iPhone SE do not qualify for the promotion.

This sale is not limited to those who are enrolled in college; any “qualified” educational purchaser can receive a pair of Beats headphones when they make an eligible purchase. Qualified individuals include: K-12 employees, board members, and officers; higher education employees, students, and parents of students.

Last year Apple announced this deal in late July and it only lasted a couple of months. This year they are starting in early June and ending in early September for a total of three months. Perhaps their reasoning behind extending the deal by an extra month is due to their recent decline in sales. The deal usually ends the week before their fall special event. This year’s promotion starts on June 2 and ends on September 5.

On a side note, it is interesting that Apple is only offering wireless headphones. This could be a subtle confirmation that the iPhone 7 will not have a headphone jack.

What to expect for Apple’s September and October events

The invitation for the iPhone 6 event last year
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In the upcoming fall season, Apple is expected to hold two special media events to announce the new iPhones, iPads and Apple TV. Rumors have pointed to September for the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6c, Apple TV and iPad mini 4, while the iPad Pro and other Mac products will be shown off in October. Based on all these rumors, here’s what we expect in the coming months.

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an Apple event announcing the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California, September 9, 2014. REUTERS/Stephen Lam (United States - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS) - RTR45KU8

The first special media event date, which was leaked by Buzzfeed News as September 9th, we will see the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6c, Apple TV and iPad mini 4. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will have the same design as their predecessors, but they have the new pressure-sensitive Force Touch display, 12MP rear camera, A9 processor and other updated internal components.  As for the iPhone 6c, it will be an iPhone 5s/iPhone 6 encased in a plastic housing. The phone will have a 4″ display and be powered by the A8 processor, come with Touch ID and the dual-LED flash with 8MP camera. The fourth generation Apple TV will have a slimmer body with new touchpad remote. It will run a special version of iOS 9 with a full App Store and have support for Siri and HomeKit. Finally, the iPad mini 4 is uncharacteristically rumored to be announced at the September event. It will come with a fully laminated display like the iPad Air 2, be powered by the A8 processor and have an 8MP rear camera.

Typically the iPad mini is announced alongside the iPad Air in October, but the iPad Air 3 will be coming out in 2016 and the iPad mini only received an incremental update last year so it’s time for something more significant. The announcement date for the mini has been moved to September. Apple will still be holding a special event in October, but it will primarily be focused on the iPad Pro and Mac.

At Apple’s October event, the long-rumored iPad Pro, which is a hybrid device between Mac and iPad, and news Macs will be announced. The iPad Pro has a 12.9″ display and will likely be the star of Apple’s event. It will be powered by the A9 processor, come with Bluetooth and NFC, feature a Force Touch display and come with an optional stylus. It’s currently a “wildcard” for the September event, but more than likely, Apple will keep it until October when they have more time to tell everyone about their latest creation.

How to score the best deals at Best Buy for Apple products

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How to Save Money at Best Buy

Best Buy has stood the test of time in the world of electronics and has outlasted many competitors, including Circuit City and Radio Shack. Today, Best Buy is known for having a huge selection of all kinds of electronics and gadgets. Although the prices tend to be reasonable, they are often not as low as they could be, which makes it even more important to know how to shop smartly and save money. Use the following techniques to get great electronics for great prices at Best Buy.

Join My Best Buy

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Best Buy recently revamped and renamed its rewards program to attract more customers. The “My Best Buy” program is free to join at the basic level and provides a number of money-saving benefits.

You can join My Best Buy in store or by registering online at BestBuy.com. All you need to create an account is your full name, email address, and phone number. If you join in store, you can easily enter your member ID when you create an online account. My Best Buy comes with a number of benefits, including these three:

  • Rewards certificates: As a My Best Buy member, you’ll earn one point for every dollar you spend at Best Buy or BestBuy.com (excluding taxes and fees). Once you hit 250 points, you’ll receive a $5 rewards certificate. Rewards certificates work similarly to coupons and can be used for nearly any purchase that is over the certificate amount, like an iPhone case or Apple TV. You can also choose to save your points until you hit 1,000 points and redeem them for a $20 rewards certificate. Although this is a better deal, it can take longer to reach and is the maximum amount you can reach before the points reset. Note that it can take 15 days after a purchase for the points to be applied to your account and the points expire after one year.
  • Member-only exclusives: My Best Buy customers are often the first to know about upcoming sales and are given early access to many promotions and store events. You will also sporadically receive exclusive special offers, which can vary from a coupon for 15% off a certain type of product or extra rewards points when you buy certain brands.
  • Free shipping on $35+: Many expensive items, like the iPad Air or MacBook Pro, come with expensive shipping costs, which makes this offer of free shipping on all order of $35 or more even more appealing. This offer excludes items with scheduled delivery, like refrigerators.

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Elite and Elite Plus Memberships

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Although the basic free membership has its share of perks, you can also opt for the Elite and Elite Plus versions of My Best Buy if you are a very loyal customer. You must spend at least $1,500 at Best Buy in one calendar year to become an Elite member, and you must spend $3,500 in a single calendar year to become an Elite Plus member. The elevated reward status comes with bonuses, including:

  • Extended exchanges and returns: Instead of the typical 15 days to return an item, Elite members have 30 days after making a purchase and Elite Plus members have 45 days to return or exchange.
  • Point banking: While basic My Best Buy members have a cap of $1,000 points for a $20 reward certificate, Elite and Elite Plus members can accrue points with no limits. Unlike basic membership, the points never expire so you can save for a huge reward. Note that you have to maintain the Elite or Elite Plus annual spending levels to keep your points active—if you fail to spend the right amount of money in a year, you will be demoted to basic status and lose your points.
  • Bonus points: Instead of the basic one point per dollar spent, Elite members get 1.1 points for every dollar spent and Elite Plus members get 1.25 points for every dollar spent. That means basic members get $5 back for every $250 they spend, Elite members get $5 for ever $227.27 they spend, and Elite Plus members get $5 back for every $200 they spend.

If you are a frequent Best Buy customer and take great advantage of the My Best Buy program, a My Best Buy credit card could be a good option. Cardholders get 5% back in points on every purchase compared to 2% for basic members or they can choose interest-free 12-month financing on purchases of $399 or more. You can also use the My Best Buy credit card to get to Elite or Elite Plus status more quickly, as the $1,500 and $3,500 spending requirements can be met with any purchases made on the credit card, not just those at Best Buy and BestBuy.com

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Shop Deal of the Day

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Aside from its regular clearance sales online and in store, Best Buy also runs a Deal of the Day section that is similar to Amazon’s Lightning Deals. The Deal of the Day section is easy to use. Best Buy releases a new deep discount on a specific item every day, but the deal only lasts for one day before it is replaced by a new product with a deep discount. Daily Deal discounts are almost always at least 25% off and frequently more than 50% off. There are also sporadically Bonus Deals of the Day with extra items with low prices for a single day.

Because Deal of the Day products come with such great discounts, many items sell out quickly. Stay on top of the best discounts by signing up for the Deal of the Day email newsletter so you can score a product as soon as it is released.

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Shop Best Buy Outlet

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Best Buy was one of the first stores to create an online outlet shop, which is a great place for bargain hunters to get a great deal.

The outlet section of BestBuy.com features clearance, open-box, refurbishes, and pre-owned items. This is a great place to pick up Apple products for less. Search by category, brand, or savings level to find the perfect item. Outlet items can be picked up for free at Best Buy stores and can even be returned or exchanged, which is rare for online outlets. Products fall into the following categories:

  • Clearance: Items that are discounted by the manufacturer or that are no longer in stock
  • Open box: Practically new items that have been returned
  • Refurbished: Items that have been repaired so they are as good as new
  • Pre-owned: Restored used items that have passed tests to make sure they are in like-new condition

Clearance and open-box items from the outlet still qualify for manufacturer warranties, but pre-owned and refurbished items may not have an applicable warranty, so be sure to ask customer service before making your purchase.

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Use the Best Buy Price Match Guarantee

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Best Buy rewards loyal customers with an extensive price match guarantee that allows them to shop for everything at Best Buy while knowing they are getting the best possible price. Best Buy will match any local competitor’s in-store or online price and the price of identical items sold at online-exclusive stores like Amazon.com, bhphotovideo.com, crutchfield.com, HP.com, newegg.om, and tigerdirect.com, as well as BestBuy.com

The price match guarantee applies to identical products from other retailers, but it doesn’t apply to third-party marketplace sellers on BestBuy.com, Amazon.com, or other similar sites. Clearance items, coupon offers, flash sales, mail-in rebates, open-box items, and refurbished and pre-owned outlet items are also disqualified from the price match guarantee. Best Buy doesn’t match any sale prices from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, so don’t plan on price matching during Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

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Buy Discounted Gift Cards at CardPool.com

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Save even more money at Best Buy by purchasing a discounted gift card from CardPool.com, a site that also sells discounted gift cards for many other stores. CardPool.com sells Best Buy gift cards at a great 5.5% discount, which can add up to great savings online or in store. Best Buy allows up to 10 gift cards to be used in a single transaction, which means you can buy two Best Buy gift cards from CardPool for $181.50 and save $11.59 instantly on a $200 purchase. In addition to selling the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac and Apple TV, Best Buy now sells the Apple Watch (*hint* *hint*). When used with sale or clearance items, the savings can be even greater. The smallest amount for an electronic gift card is $20, but physical gift cards can be mailed with free shipping and come in amounts as small as $10.

This great Best Buy Store Guide was brought to you by ZipfWorks, which seeks to revolutionize the way you shop by making you a smarter and more empowered shopper. Check out their other great services, like StyleSpotter, which helps you find the lowest price on more than 12,000 clothing brands, and DealSpotr, which shows great deals with coupon codes for national companies.

WWDC 2015 Keynote: Apple announces iOS 9, Apple Music and watchOS 2

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The annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference started a few hours ago with a keynote from Apple CEO Tim Cook. He, along with several members of the Apple team, announced many new software products like Mac OS X El Capitan, iOS 9, watchOS 2 and more.

Mac OS X El Capitan

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The next-generation operating system for Mac has arrived. This update has two major focuses: experience and performance. For changes in experience, Apple added many new features that enhance the way the Mac is used. For example, Split View allows you to work on two apps simultaneously together. Like Windows, the computer will automatically size two apps to fix next to each other in your fullscreen window space. Apple also expanded the Notes app, Mail, Safari, Photos, Maps and made Spotlight Search more like Facebook’s Graph Search. For performance, they added the Metal graphics core technology which increases the performance and graphics of apps.

Comes out to developers today, to public beta testers in July and the public in the Fall.

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iOS 9

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Apple announced several new updates with the next-generation operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Like El Capitan, the team focused on key areas when talking about the updates. In terms of Intelligence, Siri has been updated with a new colorful user interface and more capabilities. Siri can search through your photos and videos in the Photos app to provide specific answers to requests, like searching for those pictures you took last year at WWDC. There’s a new page to the left of the Home screen (where the search bar used to be pre-iOS 7) that displays suggestions for people to talk to, apps to use, what’s nearby in terms of food, drinks, shopping and fun and what’s currently in the news. This section is also for Spotlight Search and it has expanded capabilities to return search results with videos on YouTube and Vimeo, third-party apps, measurement conversions and more.

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The second key area is Enhancements and this, simply put, means that Apple has updated several of their apps with more functions. For example, the Notes app has a new toolbar that has shortcuts for formatting options, the App Switcher has a completely new user interface, the Health app can track more data points, the Maps app can provide transit directions and Apple added a new app called News, which provides magazines and news articles from several sources in an easy-to-read format.

Apple also focused on increasing performance with the iPhone. They reduced the total available space to 1.3GB in order to install iOS 9 instead of the 4.6GB needed for iOS 8. The team also increased the energy efficiency by adding an additional hour of battery time for devices running iOS 9 and a new function called Low Power Mode that will switch off many functions to add up to three additional hours of battery life (on top of the hour).

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Split View on the iPad Air 2

For the final area of focus, Apple designed specific features of iOS 9 to solely work on the iPad. After nearly two years of rumors, Multitasking is finally here on the iPad. Like the iPhone, there’s a new App Switcher user interface. The iPad can use two apps simultaneously next to each other with features called Slide Over, Split View and Picture in Picture.

Comes out to developers today, public beta testers in July and the public in the Fall. All the devices that could upgrade to iOS 8 will be able to update to iOS 9 as well.

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Apple Watch (watchOS 2)

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Even though the Apple Watch is only a few weeks old, Apple has announced the second-generation operating system. On a side note, this means we can expect a new operating system every WWDC (so watchOS 3 in June 2016). Anyway, watchOS 2 adds a lot of new functions, like photos for the watch’s face, third-party complications, new apps can run without the need for the iPhone, support for transit directions, Siri can control HomeKit-enabled devices and more.

Comes out to developers today, the public in the Fall.

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Apple Pay

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To start off talking about Apple Pay, the team went into detail about the success the payment service has seen. Apple Pay has been out since October 2014 and is now accepted in over one million locations. Several major retailers have announced they will soon be accepting the service in their stores too, like JCPenney, Forever21, Dunkin Donuts, Trader Joe’s, Best Buy and many others. With iOS 9, the Passbook app has been renamed to Wallet and there’s a new icon. Store credit and debits cards and loyalty and rewards cards will also be stored in the app. Finally, Apple announced that Apple Pay will begin its international expansion by entering the United Kingdom in July.

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One More Thing…

Apple Music

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As rumored, Apple announced their new music streaming service that will directly compete with Spotify and Rdio. This music service will allow for unlimited streaming for every song found in the iTunes Store (some of which are not found on Spotify). It will recommend playlists and albums based on the music you listen to, show you top charts, new music and more, allow you to connect to your favorite artists and view the content they share, like photos, videos and sound bites, and there’s a 24/7 global radio that is live from New York City, Los Angeles and London. The music streaming service, which is found in the all-new Music app, will be available for $9.99/month per person or $14.99/month for families of up to six people. Apple is offering a three-month free trial for those who want to test out the service.

The new Music app with streaming service comes with iOS 8.4 and is available to download on June 30th. Apple will also be releasing an app on Android in the Fall.

Apple announces all-new 12" Retina MacBook

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Earlier today, Apple held their first special media event of the year titled “Spring Forward” at the Yerba Buena Center for Arts in San Fransisco. They announced updates with Apple TV, iPhone and Apple Pay. In a previous post, we went into the specifics about these and in this post, we look at the all-new MacBook. Although we typically don’t focus on the Mac on the blog, this new laptop was too cool to pass up.

MacBook

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The Mac lineup has been hugely successful and has outgrown the industry for the last decade.  While the computer industry has been on a decline, the Mac has been rising at a steady pace.  Today Apple announced an all-new MacBook and updates to their MacBook Air and 13″ MacBook Pro.

The new MacBook is the first generation its kind and is completely different than the previous plastic MacBooks. This all metal laptop is like a thinner and better version of the MacBook Air with a slightly higher price point.  It has a 12″ Retina display, weighs 2 pounds, is 13.1mm at its thickest point (24% thinner than the 11″ MacBook Air) and comes with a completely reinvented keyboard and Force Touch trackpad.  The logic board is 67% smaller, fanless and there is 35% more battery capacity for all-day battery life. The MacBook comes in space gray, gold and silver, starts at $1299 and begins shipping on Friday, April 10th.

The MacBook Air was updated with faster processors and flash, Thunderbolt 2 support and it starts shipping today. The 13″ MacBook Pro was also updated with faster processors and flash, an hour extra of battery life, the new Force Touch trackpad and it begins shipping today.

New Holiday commercial: "The Song"

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Around this time last year, Apple came out with a new commercial called “Misunderstood.”  It told the story of a boy who, in our and the family’s perspective, was shying away from the group and always on his phone.  About halfway through the commercial, he puts on a video that he was creating with his iPhone 5s during the family’s activities.  This year Apple has released a similar emotional and creative video following a girl connecting with her grandmother.

http://youtu.be/WRsPnzcZ1VY

The girl, as seen in the commercial above, finds a vinyl record that her grandmother gave to her grandfather in 1952.  She listens to the record of her grandmother signing “Love is Here to Stay” and then she uses her Apple products to create a new version.  She uses her MacBook to create a duet of her and her grandmother singing together and shares it with an iPad mini.

The commercial can be seen on Apple’s YouTube page and on network and cable TV.  There’s also a new section of Apple’s website for it and a featured page on the App Store for the apps used. Happy Holidays!

Best Buy announces gift card deals with iPad or MacBook purchase [Black Friday Deals]

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In addition to the special holiday event at Sam’s Club on November 15th, Best Buy will be hosting their own event from 1pm to 4pm on November 8th.  These deals are only available in stores and at participating locations.

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The iPad Air and iPad Air 2 are full price, but they come with a $50 gift card to Best Buy.  Or you can purchase the MacBook Air at full price and receive a $100 gift card to Best Buy.  These gift cards can come in handy for purchasing accessories, giving as gifts or losing them in your car and finding them months later.

Best Buy will also show you how to create a greeting card on your Mac using iPhoto in OS X Yosemite during their event.

iPad event expectations

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There are less then 12 hours remaining until Apple’s next special media event where they are expected to announce the next-generation iPads, updated Macs, iOS 8.1 and Apple Pay release dates and a surprise product.

iPads

credit: Martin Hajek

An iPhone 6-inspired concept for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3.

It is no surprise that there will be new tablets announced at Apple’s event today. The iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, which are the confirmed names, will feature a similar design to their predecessors and a few new updated components.

For the iPad Air 2, rumors have suggested it will be a little thinner, but still have mostly the same design.  New external features, like single row of speaker holes and recessed buttons, will help the tablet to lose a few millimeters.  Apple is also rumored to move the microphone from the top center to the left side, next to the camera. The mute/sound switch may be taken off completely.  For internal specs, we expect 2GB of RAM, A8X processor with M8 co-processor, 8MP camera, Touch ID Home button and more updated internal components.

The iPad mini 3 will have the same design as it’s predecessor and only gain internal upgrades. Besides the new Touch ID sensor on the Home button, not much else is known about the tablet.

 

Macs

The current iMac, credit: Apple

The current iMac, credit: Apple

Although we typically only focus on mobile devices on Device Geek Blog, we can’t ignore that Apple is planning on announcing a few new Macs at their event. The 27-inch iMac is rumored to get a 5K Retina display, which would double its current resolution, we will find out the release date for OS X Yosemite and other software like the new Photos app for Mac and iLife and see an updated Mac mini.

 

iOS 8.1 and Apple Pay

Apple Pay works with the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch.

Apple Pay works with the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch.

Leaked internal documents for some of the retailers who will support Apple Pay showed the release date for their store. Walgreens said it would be on Saturday, October 18th and Panera Bread said it would be Monday, October 20th.  Regardless of when stores will start allowing it, this means that Apple will likely launch iOS 8.1 with Apple Pay immediately following the event (or within a few hours).

 

Surprise Product

The current generation iPod touch has the A5 processor.

The current generation iPod touch has the A5 processor.

On the event invitation, Apple wrote “it’s been way too long.” It is believed that this line is referring to the Mac since it has been a while since the Mac mini or iMac have been updated.  The invitation also uses the apple outline from when Apple celebrated 30 years of Mac so this screams Mac.  There are other products, though, that haven’t been updated for a long time. For example, the last major update for iPod happened alongside the announcement of the iPhone 5 in 2012. The iPod touch is still rocking the single-core A5 processor. For comparison, the iPhone 6 has an dual-core A8 chip, which is a lot more advanced, has 64-bit architecture and comes with a M8 co-processor. The Apple TV also hasn’t been updated since March 2012 at the iPad 3 event.  It has the A5 processor as well. Apple, finally, may also be launching new Smart Covers for the iPad Air and iPad mini in new colors. Although it’s not as exciting as the iPod or Apple TV.

 

iPad Pro? Retina MacBook Air?

We likely won’t see either of these until 2015. Apple may hold an event in the beginning of the year, like they did in January 2012 when they announced textbooks on iPad.  The event may be focused on education as well, aiming the new hardware to educational institutions, students and professors.