With the new 9.7-inch iPad now available to personal pickup customers at select Apple Retail Stores in the US, Canada, Australia, and Japan, iFixit has already begun its teardown of the new tablet, reports AppleInsider.

According to the results of the teardown, it seems as though this new iPad is actually very similar to the first-generation iPad Air. For example, the new tablet has the same size screen as the first Air, which is apparently easier to repair, despite being thicker, because the LCD and digitizer are not fused together. In fact, iFixit was even able to swap the same parts from an old Air with the new 9.7-inch iPad.

The teardown shows that the two tablets also share the same LCD timing controller, with results being pretty much the same for both. iFixit says that Apple’s claim that the newest tablet is “brighter” could have something to do with the iPad Air 2 having a fused display.

Other similarities between the iPad Air 1 and the new 9.7-inch iPad include the same 32.9 watt-hour battery, which is superior to both the iPad Air 2’s 27.6 watt-hour supply and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro’s 27.9 watt-hour supply.

The main difference between the new tablet and previous versions is the A9 processor with 2GB of DDR4 RAM, with the iPad Air models having an A7 chip with 1GB of DDR3 RAM. The base storage in the new iPad has been increased to 32GB for the same price as the base model in the previous iPads, and it also now features a Touch ID sensor with a physical button, as opposed to the solid-state button on the iPhone 7.

Source: Teardown finds Apple's new iPad largely similar to first-gen iPad Air

If you’re someone that uses Google Calendar app for iOS you’ll be interested to know that Google has just released an update to the app that comes complete with a native iPad interface that utilises the extra screen space available when using an iPad.

Now, when using Google Calendar on your iPad, you can see much more of the information on the screen, particularly when viewing weekly or monthly dates. You’ll find that the sidebar hides less of the screen, and editing an event just got much easier as it now appears as a pop-up rather than covering the whole of the screen. You can even pick a colourful background for each view, if you choose.

Other than these optimizations for the iPad screen, the rest of the app is exactly the same as the iPhone version. For example, your events will feature in Spotlight searches, and the app has the ability to automatically manage your schedule in order to fit in personal goals, as well as picking out the perfect time and room for work meetings.

Source: Google Calendar gains native Apple iPad interface with latest iOS update

AppleInsider reports that Facebook has today begun rolling out a new feature for its iOS app, the Snapchat-like Stories, as well as a new in-app camera for iPhone.

The new Stories feature is basically a Facebook iOS app version of the same feature that Facebook has already introduced in its Messenger and Instagram apps, and which is itself very similar to Snapchat, which created the original Stories feature. You can now use the new feature in Facebook to add photos and videos to your Story, which will then be shown in the menu at the top of a person’s News Feed. Simply tap on the Story to view it. Just as with Snapchat, the Facebook app Stories will disappear after 24 hours. Another feature, Direct, lets you send photos and videos to your friends that they can only see twice within 24 hours.

As well as the launch of Stories, the Facebook app also now has other Snapchat-style features such as being able to place masks, frames, and filters onto the pictures. You can also add “Reactive” effects such as snow, for example, which will react to movement. Some masks will be sponsored, such as the really rather cool “Alien: Covenant” mask. Others were created by the likes of Douglas Coupland. Soon you will even be able to build your own frames and effects.

Source: Facebook rolls out Snapchat-like Stories & in-app camera for Apple's iPhone

MacRumors reports today that according to Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Christopher Rolland, Apple’s third-generation Apple Watch could feature cellular connectivity, which has long been rumoured to be coming to the Apple Watch.

In particular, Rolland says that this year’s Apple Watch will have a SIM card and will support LTE, and that Apple intends to promote it at the same time as the AirPods. “Apple will tout interoperability with the company’s AirPods… to make and receive phone calls” said Rolland.

Rolland also said, “We understand some issues remain, including battery life and form factor size, but significant progress has been made. Apple may be employing VOIP and data across a CAT-M1 connection for superior battery life.”

There’s been talk of Apple adding a cellular modem to the Apple Watch ever since it launched, but the thorny issue of battery drain has, until now, proved to be too much of a hindrance.

Source: Analyst Suggests Third-Generation Apple Watch Will Include Cellular Connectivity

Forbes reports that according to IHS Markit analyst Rhoda Alexander, the release of a 10.5-inch iPad Pro is still on the cards. “Indications are…10.5-inch iPad production is commencing this month. An April launch still looks somewhat tentative but the necessary elements are starting to come together,” Alexander told Forbes in an email.

Alexander also said that the production run is initially “limited,” adding that it would be easy for Apple to quickly ramp up production should it be necessary. Alexander said that Apple could possibly be planning to launch the 10.5-inch iPad Pro in a small number of territories at first, expanding the number of territories later.

Alexander also provided a little more insight into Apple’s overall iPad strategy, saying, “It’s very interesting to look at how well they surf the supply chain. The longer they keep a product active the more opportunity there is to benefit from the component cost reductions over the product life-cycle, as well as allowing them to disperse development costs across more units. This is key to Apple’s profit strategy.”

Alexander also pointed to Apple’s shipping of 4.6 million iPad minis in the fourth quarter of 2016 as being “pretty impressive for a product that was more than a year old at the time and at the top of the pricing for products of its size.”

Source: What Happened To The 10.5-Inch iPad Pro? This Analyst Has An Answer

MacRumors reports that following seven beta releases since January 24, iOS 10.3 is now available to the general public. Major new features introduced with the update include Find My AirPods and a new Apple File System (APFS).

The update is available as a free over-the-air download, and can also be downloaded from iTunes.

The new Find My AirPods feature has been added to the Find My iPhone feature so that you can find missing AirPods. Find My AirPods works by playing a sound so that you can locate a nearby AirPod, and it will also save an AirPod’s last known location from when it was last connected to an iOS device via Bluetooth. However, it is not able to find an AirPod when the phone isn’t nearby, or to locate the Charging Case.

APFS is a new file system that will be installed when you update your iOS device. It has been optimized for flash/SSD storage and has improved encryption support, as well as enabling the use of snapshots for freezing a file system’s state, which is better for backups, space sharing, and improved space efficiency, hopefully all of which will lead to more platform stability.

However, that said, an AppleInsider report on the newly released iOS 10.3 notes complaints from early adopters of the update of overly long install times, including multiple device reboots. Users have reported installation on an iPad Air 2, for example, taking more than 48 minutes.

AppleInsider notes that this is likely due to the change of file system to APFS. Advising AppleInsider on the matter, an Apple support technician recommended not stopping the upgrade if it appears to be taking too long. To be on the safe side, the best advice, as always, is to be sure to backup before you update.

Sources: Apple Releases iOS 10.3 With Find My AirPods, APFS, App Store Review Tweaks and More,...


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