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,...

MacRumors reports that Apple has started accepting orders for the newly announced 9.7-inch iPad and the (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus on its US online store, as well as in many other countries and regions worldwide. (PRODUCT)RED iPhones can also be collected from a select number of Apple Stores from today.

It’s estimated that the first online orders of the 9.7-inch iPad will be delivered between March 31 and April 5 in the US. The new iPad will also be available to buy at select Apple Stores, authorized resellers, and carrier stores in more than 20 countries from next week.

The special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus can also now be pre-ordered from Apple’s website from today, with first online orders expected to arrive on Tuesday, March 28 in the US. But before pre-ordering it might be a good idea to check with your local Apple Store first, as you just might just be able to walk away with one rather than having to wait for your pre-order to arrive.

Source: New 9.7-Inch iPad and Red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Now Available to Order

Niantic has announced a new special Pokémon Go event, the Water Festival. During the global festival, which started yesterday and runs until March 29, 2017, Trainers can expect to see more of Magikarp, Squirtle, Totodile, and other Water-type Pokémon and their evolutions.

Also, when you’re out hunting for Pokémon in the wild in areas where Water-type Pokémon are more prevalent, you’ll have a much greater chance of encountering some of the Water-type Pokémon originally found in the Johto region, including the elusive Lapras.

Also as part of the Water Festival you’ll be able to buy a new avatar wardrobe item, the Magikarp Hat.

The new festival follows on from the latest Pokémon Go update released on Tuesday whereby the 7-day “First PokéStop of the Day” streak will now award you with a random Evolution item. This is presumably because of the previously very scarce availability of the Evolution items, which are needed to evolve certain Pokémon such as Scyther.

Source: Niantic

According to AppleInsider, Marriott is currently putting both Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa through their paces at an Aloft hotel in Boston in an effort to decide which one they will use to help guests control their rooms via voice commands.

The original report by Bloomberg says that Marriott could be making the final choice “as early as mid-year.” Once the approved assistant is picked by Marriott, the company will then decide which of the its chains will use the feature.

The Boston hotel is using Echo speakers for Alexa, and a combination of iPhones and iPads to test Siri.

Despite this, you would think that the decision has already been made in favour of Alexa, though, as AppleInsider notes that the JW Marriott in San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa has Alexa installed in 10 of its 1,002 rooms with 100 more to go online next month. Another chain, Wynn, intends to equip all of its 4,748 rooms in its Las Vegas resort with an Echo by the summer.

However, clearly, Marriott is not totally convinced by Alexa, hence the current round of tests of both systems. As AppleInsider notes, while Alexa has the benefit of affordability on its side, Siri has one very big advantage, especially as far as a hotel chain is concerned, in that it supports 21 languages, whereas Alexa only supports English and German.

In future, Marriott is planning to even use virtual assistants to set automatic wake-up temperatures or schedule when to open drapes.

Source: Marriott likely to decide on Apple Siri or Amazon Alexa for hotels later this year

AppleInsider reports that Apple has today announced a new range of seasonal bands for the Apple Watch in a variety of colours and designs, as well as making the Nike Sport Band available to buy separately without being bundled with the Nike edition Apple Watch.

Starting off with the new Apple Watch sport bands, all of which cost $49, the new colours are Camellia, Pebble, and Azure.

The special edition Nike sport perforated bands are also priced at $49, and are available in Black/Volt, Anthracite/Black, and Pure Platinum/White.

Apple is offering six new spring colours for the woven nylon band range, also all priced at $49.

These are: Orange, Berry, Red, Pollen, Tahoe Blue, and Midnight Blue.

As far as the higher-end bands are concerned, Apple is offering new $149 classic leather bands and $489 Hermès Leather collection bands.

First off with the classic leather bands, they are now available in seven new options: Saddle Brown, Berry, Taupe, Sapphire, Red, Midnight Blue, and Black. The new Hermès Leather bands are Fauve Barenia and Blue Zéphyr Epsom.

Meanwhile, in another report today, AppleInsider also noted that as well as introducing a whole new range of choices in Apple Watch bands, Apple has cut back on the choice of bands that are bundled with a new Apple Watch, with only a Milanese Loop or Sport Band available with a Series 2 watch. The previous options such as the Classic Buckle, Leather Loop, and Link Bracelet, are all still available to buy separately, you just won’t be able to choose them to go with your new watch right out of the box. However, if you’re quick, you might still be able to get some of the old bundles, as AppleInsider says that it has heard from an anonymous source that some Apple Stores still have old stock of the previous bundles that they have been allowed to sell.


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