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Existing iPhone and iPad Lineups Updated with Better Storage and Pricing

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The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were announced on Wednesday, but they were not the only devices with updates. Apple also refreshed their iPhone and iPad lineup with new prices and better storage capacities.

better storage

The new iPhone lineup has doubled the amount of storage and better pricing across most of the models, via Apple.

For last year’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, Apple has retained all the color options but improved the price and storage capacity. The phones are now available for $100 less for retail price, or roughly $5 less per month with iPhone installments. The iPhone 6s can be purchased for $22/month and the iPhone 6s Plus for $27/month. Additionally, Apple has doubled the minimum storage capacity from 16GB to 32GB and removed the 64GB capacity. The iPhone 6s/6s Plus are still available in 128GB. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have also be removed.

Despite the newness of the iPhone SE, Apple has updated it too. The iPhone SE is still available in 16GB and 64GB, but the larger storage capacity is $50 less. The iPhone SE is now $399 and $449 for full retail price. 

Apple has also refreshed their iPad lineup by removing some storage capacities, doubling others, and offering better prices. The iPad mini 2 is now only available in 32GB and starts at the price of the previous 16GB model. The iPad mini 4 is only offered in 32GB and 128GB now and the prices are lowered to the previous 16GB and 64GB models, respectively. The iPad Air 2 has retained the same prices with twice the amount of storage.

Finally, the iPad Pro has had the greatest shakeup in the lineup with storage pricing remaining the same but lower prices. The 128GB model is now $50 less and the 256GB model is $100 less. The prices also show a more consistent lineup with each model progressing by $100 for increased storage. For example, the 9.7″ iPad Pro Wi-Fi only model starts at $599 for 32GB, $699 for 128GB, and $799 for 256GB. Previously there as a difference of $150 between each storage size.

The new storage sizes of the iPad mini 4 and iPad Air 2 currently have an estimate delivery window of September 16-17th.. Also the iPhone 6s with the new 32GB storage size is currently unavailable and will be able to pre-order alongside the iPhone 7 tonight.




 

How To Preorder iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus Tonight

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At 12:01am PDT tonight, the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will go on sale for pre-orders. Both of these products were announced at a special event yesterday with fresh internals and an upgraded design. If you are considering pre-ordering, here is what you need to know.

How to Pre-order

The pre-order event starts at 12:01am PDT (or 3:01am for those of us on the East coast.) You can pre-order the iPhone 7 directly on Apple’s website, on your carrier’s website, or online/in store at Best Buy and other retailers at this time. The phone will then be shipped out for delivery on Friday, September 16th or later depending on stock. Typically iPhones sell out quickly and shipping slips to one week, two weeks, or even four weeks after release date. Your best bet is to go to bed late/wake up early and order your phone the second it is available for pre-order.

Tip: Plan multiple ways to purchase in case one supplier sells out or the website goes down. Apple is pretty great at pre-orders but they have been known to have problems in the past with pre-orders.

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Colors, Storage, and Pricing Options

iPhone 7 pre-order

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus come in five colors: rose gold, gold, silver, black, and jet black. Jet black is limited to the 128GB and 256GB storage sizes though, via Apple.

The phone comes in five colors with varying amounts of storage. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus come in jet black, black, silver, gold, and rose gold and storage capacities of 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB. The jet black iPhone is limited to only the 128GB and 256GB sizes though.

The price of the new iPhones depends upon how to plan to pay for it. The iPhone 6 in any of the four colors with 32GB of storage starts at $649 for full retail price. To lower this cost, the phone can be purchased with a two-year contract at $199, with installments of $27.04/month for 24 months, or part of Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program for $32.41/month. The Upgrade Program includes AppleCare+ as part of the price. Any phones purchased from Apple’s website are unlocked, though they may be tied to a contract for a specific carrier. This means that after the iPhone is paid off, it can be used on any carrier without going through an unlocking process.

iPhone 7 pre-order

Pricing options for an iPhone 7 with 32GB, via Apple.

The iPhone Upgrade Program is available to qualified customers in the United States, China, and the United Kingdom with a credit check and U.S. credit card. There is no interest on iPhones purchased on the plan or with installments. Sales tax of the full retail price, though, must be paid at time of purchase.

If the iPhone 7 is not purchased with the iPhone Upgrade Program, AppleCare+ can be bought alongside the phone or within 60 days of purchase. It is available for $129 and extends the hardware/software repair coverage for two years with up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage. Each incident is subject to a $99 service fee or $29 for screen damage. It covers the iPhone, battery, included accessories, and software support. This service includes the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus as well.

Tip: Favorite the iPhone you plan to pre-order now so it is faster to order when you go online tonight.

 

What’s Included in the Box

iPhone 7 pre-order

Inside the box, there are also Apple stickers, a quick guide, and fresh Foxconn air, via Apple.

Inside the box, there is the iPhone, EarPods with Lightning connector, Lightning to USB cable with 5W USB adapter, and the new Lighting to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter. The adapter can also be purchased separately for $9 if it gets lost.

 

What You Need to Pre-order

To pre-order the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, you will need your carrier information with the billing zip code and the last four of the account holder’s SSN. You may also need your personal information. If you are trading in your iPhone, it will need to be in good condition. Apple may charge an incident fee for phones that are damaged.

Tip: Check out your carrier’s website ahead of time to make sure you can pre-order. There is nothing worse than waking up at 3am only to find you cannot upgrade or you have to pay full retail price.




Apple Updates AppleCare+ Pricing, Screen Repairs Only $29

AppleCare+ Pricing
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On Wednesday, Apple announced the next-generation iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus but skipped over the new pricing for AppleCare+. The repair coverage now offers new prices for screen damage and regular damage instead of one price for all repairs. There is also new pricing for phones without AppleCare+.

AppleCare+ Pricing

AppleCare+ extends complimentary one-year warranty coverage to two years and adds two incidents of accidental damage coverage. Under the new pricing structure, the service fee for screen damage like cracked screens, touchscreen issues, and damage LCD’s is only $29. All other damage like non-charging batteries and broken buttons are subject to a $99 service fee. Previously phones, no matter the damage, had an $99 service fee but now Apple has broken it up depending on the phone’s issue. This is not just for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus; it extends the new prices to the iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE.

The coverage can be purchased alongside the iPhone or it can be bought within sixty days of the original purchase date of iPhone. If bought afterwards, it requires a remote diagnostic to be run for purchases online or over the phone or a physical inspection for purchases at the Apple Retail Store.

In regards to the new pricing structure for screen damage, Apple provides a few disclaimers in their fine print. First, the iPhone cannot have any other damage, like a bent or damaged enclosure, that would prevent a screen replacement. If it does, the iPhone may cost the regular price of $99 for the screen repair. The iPhone may also be repaired on-the-spot by an iPhone technician at the Apple Retail Store or at an authorized Apple repair service. If no technician is available, the iPhone may be shipped out to another store or repair service. The phone may be repaired with new or refurbished parts that have the same performance and reliability. In addition, Apple may erase your iPhone and update it to the latest software update.

Phones that are not covered by AppleCare+ also have a new pricing structure. Screen damage on the  iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone SE, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6s can be repaired for $129, and $149 on the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus. For screen damage with additional damage, or any other damage, the prices vary based on the model. The iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, and iPhone SE can be repaired for $269, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s for $299, and the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus for $329. Phones that are mailed in to Apple regardless of their AppleCare+ coverage are subject to a $6.95 shipping fee.




Sept. 7th Event: Apple Announces iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2

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Earlier today, Apple kicked off their first fall event by announcing a plethora of new products. They announced the rumored iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2.

iPhone 7

iPhone 7 event

The next-generation iPhones, called ‘iPhone 7’ and ‘iPhone 7 Plus,’ were just announced. The phones looks relatively similar to the iPhone 6/6s series, but they have plenty of new features and design updates to differentiate them. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are available in a high-gloss jet black finish, a much darker space gray simply called black, and the normal gold, silver, and rose gold. The phone is also water resistant with IP67 protection standard.

As rumored, the iPhones have several new features related to the Home button, camera, headphone jack, and performance. The Home button mechanism has been replaced with force-sensitive pad. It works with the Taptic Engine to provide vibration feedback with quick actions, messages, notifications, and ringtones. It is also customizable with third-party apps. The front camera on both phones have been upgraded to 7MP (up from 5MP) and the rear cameras are staying at 12MP. The iPhone 7 has a single wide-angle 12MP camera that is 60% faster and 30% more energy efficient. The iPhone 7 Plus has two 12MP rear cameras with the first being the same as the iPhone 7’s camera and the second a telephoto camera.

In a controversial move, Apple has removed the headphone jack on their new iPhone. They have replaced it with stereo speakers that are located on the top and bottom of the iPhone. The phone will now use wireless via Bluetooth and Lightning for audio. In the box, there is a pair of Lightning-powered EarPods and a special adapter for Lightning to analog (AUX). Apple has also designed their own AirPods, which are a new version of their EarPods, except they are wireless.

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are powered by the quad-core A10 Fusion processor with 6-core graphics. This allows the phone to be 40% faster than the iPhone 6s and three times faster than the iPhone 6. The battery life has also been improved with up to two extra hours.

The iPhone 7 starts at $649 (or $27/month) for 32GB and the iPhone 7 Plus starts at $769 (or $32/month) for 32GB. The phones are also available in 128GB and 256GB configurations. Pre-orders for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus start Friday, September 9th and the phones will be released on Friday, September 16th.

iPhone 7 event

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus come in five colors: rose gold, gold, silver, black, and jet black.




 

Apple Watch Series 2

iPhone 7 event

The second-generation Apple Watch was finally announced after the first version has been available for more than a year. The new Apple Watch looks identical to the first Apple Watch, but it was completely reengineered to be waterproof. Inside the watch, there is a much slimmer and brighter display and more powerful processor. The new dual-core processor is up to 50% faster with 2x the graphics. As rumored, the watch also has a built-in GPS that will measure pace, distance, and location without the iPhone.

In addition, there is a new case material available and several new models. The Apple Watch Series 2 will come in aluminum, stainless steel, and now white ceramic. The ceramic case is four times stronger than stainless steel. Apple has also partnered with Nike to design the Apple Watch Nike+ which has exclusive bands in four colors and the Nike logo on the watch.

The Apple Watch Series 2 starts at $369. Pre-orders start Friday, September 9th and the watch is released Friday, September 16th. The special Nike+ watch also starts at $369 and will be available in late October. The current Apple Watch is renamed to Apple Watch Series 1 and it has been upgraded with the new dual-core processor.

 

Other Updates

iOS 10

The next-generation software update was announced today. It comes with several features and it is available on Tuesday, September 13th.

watchOS 3

The next-generation software update for Apple Watch was announced today. It comes with several features and it is available on Tuesday, September 13th.

 

Additionally, Apple has announced that Pokemon GO is coming to the Apple Watch and Nintendo is bringing Mario to the iPhone sometime before the end of the year. We will have more in-depth posts about the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2 in the next couple of days.

How to Watch Apple’s iPhone 7 Special Event Tomorrow

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iPhone 7 special event

Watch Apple unveil the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch 2 on your Mac, iPhone, or Apple TV.

Tomorrow, Apple will be hosting a special media event where they are expected to reveal the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch 2. Despite the similarity of the devices to their predecessors, this special event will not be an event you will want to miss. The event, as confirmed by Apple, will be live-streamed. The fun starts at 10am PDT (or 1pm for those of us on the East Coast) and ends roughly two hours later. Here is how to watch the iPhone 7 special event:

Mac/PC

To watch the event on your Mac or PC, please go to www.apple.com/live. For your Mac, it must be running at least OS X 10.8.5 with Safari 6.0.5 or later. On your PC, you must be using Microsoft Edge with Windows 10. Any other software may not be compatible with Apple’s live streaming.

 

iPad, iPhone, iPod touch

To stream the event on your iOS device, please visit www.apple.com/live. Your device is required to be running at least iOS 7. This is a slight change from the WWDC Keynote which worked on older devices running iOS 6. To see what software you have on your device, go to the Settings app, General, and About. The number next to Version should be at least by 7.0, and if so, you are all set to stream.

 

Apple TV

There is a special dedicated channel on the Apple TV called “Apple Events” that will stream the keynote when the time is ready. If your Apple TV is a 2nd or 3rd generation, it is required to be running software at least 6.2. If you have the 4th generation Apple TV, any software version will stream the event.

 

Android or any other non-Apple devices

Unfortunately, this year’s September special media event will only be streamed on Apple products with the exception of the PC. If you have an Android device and still want to catch the announcements, you can view live blogs from those in attendance or watch your Twitter feed. Using Twitter is usually the best since pictures are posted immediately and from several angles when Apple announces something new.

Apple Announces Special Event on September 7th for New iPhones

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Apple just confirmed the rumored special event planned for September 7th. It will be held at 10am PT (or 1pm ET) at the Bill Graham Civic Center in San Fransisco. The company is expected to announce the iPhone 7, Apple Watch 2, and release date for iOS 10. Also, the event will live-streamed; mark your calendars here.

special event

Apple just announced their next special media event, which will take place on September 7th at 10am PT.

The iPhone 7 is expected to have a similar design to the iPhone 6s sans the headphone jack. Like its predecessor, the phone will have a curved aluminum rear shell that transitions to a curved front glass display. The antenna lines on the back will be limited to the top and bottom edges, the rear camera will be larger and closer to the left side, and the Home button will be upgraded from a physical button to a tactile button.  There will only be one rear camera on the iPhone 7, but the iPhone 7 Plus will have a dual rear camera system. The physical Home button on both phones will be removed in favor of a tactile button that uses haptic feedback like the 3D Touch display on the iPhone 6s. With a press, it will simulate the sensation of pressing a button, but the mechanism will not move. This increases the water resistance of the iPhone since there are less gaps for water to seep into.

special event

Dummy units for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, credit:

Additionally, the iPhone is rumored to come in new storage sizes and colors. Apple is finally dropping the 16GB storage size for the entry-level model. Instead, the iPhone 7 will start at 32GB and may have storage options up to 256GB. The iPhone will come in rose gold, gold, silver, space gray, and a new darker space gray perhaps called ‘space black.’ The phone may also come in a deep blue color similar to the 6th generation iPod touch. The phone should be available for sale on either September 16th or 23rd, with pre-orders starting September 9th.

In the absence of the headphone jack, the iPhone will rely on Bluetooth and its Lightning port for audio. Apple is expected to include a special adapter in the box for regular wired headphones. Pictures of the adapter were leaked and look similar to the 30-pin-to-Lightning adapter that was for sale when the iPhone 5 was released. The company may also include a special version of EarPods that are wireless and release new Lightning-powered EarPods.

special event

The Apple Watch 2 will look similar to the current Apple Watch will a better processor and larger battery.

Apple is also expected to announce the second-generation Apple Watch. The watch will look similar to the first-generation, but it will have a larger battery, more powerful processor, and GPS. The new watch is still going to be dependent on the iPhone, but it will use GPS to track distance and speed. The current Apple Watch is tethered to the iPhone for the majority of its functions, including tracking location. The Apple Watch may come out in either September or October.

Finally, Apple will announce the release date for the new iOS 10 software update. It comes with many new features like an updated look to the Lock screen, Notification Center, and Messages. It also has many more functions for 3D Touch.

Apple Releases iOS 9.3.5 with Important Security Updates

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On Thursday, Apple released another (and likely the last) update to iOS 9 that fixes a few serious security exploits. According to the New York Times, the exploits where found by NSO Group and it exposes contacts, calls, texts, and emails without first unlocking the device. The update is available for all iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models that are running iOS 9. This update is likely the last of its kind for iOS 9 since Apple is planning to release their next-generation software, iOS 10, next month. This update brings a great refresh with updates in Messages, Notification Center, Photos, and more.

ios 9.3.5

The iOS 9.3.5 update is highly recommended and can be installed over-the-air or through iTunes. Here’s how to update your phone.

Note: only devices already running iOS 9 can update to iOS 9.3.5.

Over-the-Air

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Go to General
  3. Go to Software Update
  4. Tap Download and Install

Your device must be connected to Wi-Fi and have at least 50% battery power/be plugged in.

 

iTunes

  1. Plug in your device to your PC or Mac
  2. Open iTunes
  3. Click on your device
  4. Open Summary tab
  5. Click Check for Update

iTunes will now download the update and install on your device.

 

This update is relatively small therefore it should only take a few minutes to download and install. It is recommended for all users to update their devices.

 

iPhone 6s Outperforms Galaxy Note 7 in App Speed Test

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In a new video, last year’s iPhone 6s is matched up against this year’s Galaxy Note 7 for a performance and speed test of opening apps. The iPhone 6s came out last September with Apple’s A9 dual-core processor and 2GB of RAM while the Galaxy Note 7 came out this month with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor and 4GB of RAM. For twice the amount of cores and RAM, the Note 7 should outperform the iPhone 6s.

The iPhone 6s and Note 7 are put side-by-side to test their speed opening and using fourteen apps. For a real world setting, there are stock apps, games, entertainment, and shopping apps. The first test shows the phones opening the apps for the first time, while the second test shows the phone re-opening the apps. This tests the phone’s capability of running apps in the background.

Initially the Note and iPhone are running about the same speed until the Note gets stuck on the first game. They both open it quickly, but it takes longer for the Note to get to the main screen. By then, the iPhone 6s is already an app ahead. The iPhone 6s finishes both tests in 1m and 51s while the Note 7 took nearly a minute longer. It finished in 2m and 49s

The advantage the iPhone 6s has over the Note 7 is that Apple designed both the software and the hardware. The Note 7, however, relies on Google’s Android software, Samsung’s design, and Qualcomm’s processor.

The iPhone 7 is expected to be announced next month with a faster processor, more RAM, and the speedier iOS 10 software. If the iPhone 6s is already ahead of the Note 7, the iPhone 7 will be on another level entirely.

 

New iPad Pro Commercial Poses Tablet as Full Computer

New iPad Pro Commercial
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On Monday, Apple posted a new commercial for the 12.9″ iPad Pro on their YouTube channel. The commercial, which is entitled iPad Pro – What’s a Computer?, claims the iPad is as powerful as a full computer. The iPad is seen with Apple’s Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil. The narrator runs through a few tasks like typing on the keyboard, multitasking to another app, using the Apple Pencil, and split-screen view for Powerpoint and Messages running side-by-side with Netflix playing a video. The commercial ends with suggesting your computer could be much better if it was an iPad Pro.

The new commercial can be seen below or watched directly on YouTube with their other ads.

Apple release four sticker packs for iOS 10 beta

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Developers and other beta testers that are currently running iOS 10 on their devices now have access to four sticker packs released by Apple. These sticker packs allows users to add special graphics to messages sent and received in the Messages app, similar to Facebook Messenger. The stick packs are: Smileys, Hearts, Hands, and Classic Mac.

The majority of these sticker packs are not necessarily “new” just available on a different platform. Smileys, Hearts, and Hands stickers are the same found on the Apple Watch. Unlike the watch, though, they can be send independently or added onto any message. Apple designed a new pack called Classic Mac that has pixelated images of older Mac software. There is an old Mac icon, the pointer finger, mouse, “hello,” an OK button, a dog, and more.

sticker packs

The Classic Mac sticker pack on iOS 10 beta #2

When iOS 10 is released in the fall to the public, stickers can be downloaded from a special App Store found in the Messages app or from the regular App Store. Stickers can be searched for or downloaded automatically when developers add them to the store.

iOS 10 is expected to be released alongside the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch 2 in September.



Off topic: the icon to the left of the iMessage text bar reminds me of the Blackberry logo.