Apple is reportedly starting production on its second iPad Air this month, and some casual fans might find it a little boring. The sixth-generation iPad will feature the same design and display resolution (2048 x 1536) as its predecessor, according to ETNews. The report also makes no mention of Touch ID, but other sources still believe the fingerprint sensor will be Apple's biggest selling point for its new tablet.
The iPad Air 2 is expected to feature Apple's new A8 processor, which is rumored to improve battery performance, an improved 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and that's about it. Apple is also purportedly working on a third-generation iPad mini with similar improvements. Both tablets are expected to launch sometime this fall.
Not to be outdone by Target, Best Buy is also offering the original iPad mini for only $199. That's $100 off the normal suggested retail price for Apple's 7-inch tablet. Just like Target, this deal is in-store only and does not apply to Best Buy's online store.
Best Buy is also offering a great deal for customers looking to buy a 4G LTE iPad Air. You can nab any cellular model iPad Air at the same price as the Wi-Fi only equivalent, as long as you are willing to agree to a new two-year contract with Verizon Wireless. This deal is similar to T-Mobile's Operation Tablet Freedom, which allowed users to upgrade their Wi-Fi only iPad model to any cellular model.
Audiobooks have been a popular alternative to reading for some time now, whether for car trips or just a respite for the eyes. Now you can enjoy them on your iPad, as Amazon's Kindle for iOS (and Android) has been updated to include seamless transition from text to audio versions of more than 45,000 titles.
The "Whispersync for Voice" feature, which the Wall Street Journal called "Amazon's killer new app for books," allows the user to switch from reading a Kindle book to listening to the companion audio from Audible with just one tap. According to Senior Vice President of Amazon Kindle, Russ Grandinetti, "[Amazon is] working hard to help customers find more moments each day to enjoy a great book... Integrating professional narration into our Kindle apps means you never have to put down a favorite book—start reading at home, get in the car and simply tap a button to continue listening without losing your place.”
Target is offering $100 off the original iPad mini for Father's Day. The deal is in-store only and there seems to be very limited supply. You can find out what locations have the iPad mini in stock by using your zip code here. You can also nab a 16GB Retina display model for only $369 (normally $399) from Target's online store or at any retail location.
The original iPad mini doesn't feature a Retina display, but it will support iOS 8 when the new OS is released this fall. This means the first-generation tablet still has a lot of life left in it making the Target sale very tempting for shoppers looking for a great deal on an older model iPad.
The Apple rumor mill promised us that the iPad would be getting a split-screen multitasking feature in iOS 8, but the feature was never mentioned during Apple's WWDC keynote. According to New York Times technology writer, Brian X. Chen, the new feature wasn't ready for prime time and that's why it was never announced, but developer Steven Troughton-Smith has discovered the code hiding in iOS 8.
Troughton-Smith tweeted today that iOS 8 features code for running two apps side-by-side. This means that multitasking could still possibly come to the iPad in a later iOS 8 update, and that the rumors were probably true.
SteelSeries has announced its second wireless gaming controller for iOS 7 devices. The Stratus XL is a large format version of the original Stratus controller, which was released earlier this year. Unlike most of the MFi controllers on the market, the Straus does not require a Lighting connection to work, making it one of the few wireless controllers available for all iOS 7 devices, not just the iPhone.
SteelSeries decided to release the Stratus XL due to a high demand from the gaming community for a full-sized controller option. The Stratus XL features the same console-style layout as its predecessor, and it promises to deliver "an estimated 40 hours of gameplay" only using two standard AA batteries. The controller also includes 4 action buttons, 4 shoulder buttons, dual analog sticks, a Bluetooth pairing button, an on/off switch to conserve battery power and a battery life indicator.
Here are this week's iPad only releases for 06/01/14 to 06/07/14. Click here for a complete list of universal apps, games and jailbreak tweaks released to the App Store and Cydia this week. Apple's Free Game of the Week is Republique. The game will be available for free on the App Store until 06/12/14.
Linkin Park Recharge - Wastelands ($2.99) - The '90s rock band Linkin Park has released a 3D shooter called Wastelands for the iPad. The game gives fans exclusive access to the first single of the new album "The Hunting Party" due mid-June.
The Game Boy Advance emulator, GBA4iOS, is once again available for download after a short hiatus due to legal trouble with Nintendo. The emulator's creator Riley Testut, removed the website gba4iosapp.com in May after Nintendo sent a DMCA notice requesting that the site be "shut down". Testut has published a very lengthy blog post explaining what happened with the emulator and how it was resurrected from its "untimely DMCA death".
As expected, Nintendo issued a DMCA take notice to GitHub asking that the webiste be shut down because it hosted an app that "pointed directly to a ROM downloading site".
"This web site hosts a downloadable mobile application for iOS that provides users with access to unauthorized and illegal copies of Nintendo’s copyright-protected video games in violation of Nintendo’s exclusive rights."
A lot of new iOS features were introduced to us on Monday during the keynote presentation at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2014); among them was the ability to customize the Notification Center in iOS 8 by adding widgets.
The ability to add widgets to the Notification Center was demonstrated by Craig Federighi during the keynote. He downloaded the ESPN Sports Center app, then pulled down his Notification Center. Under the "Today" view we saw the default widgets:
Popular accessory maker ZAGG is holding a three day Father's Day sale for its iPhone and iPad accessories. You can save up to 70% on iPad and iPad mini keyboards, Bluetooth speakers and iPhone cases. The sale begins on June 4, 2014 and ends on June 6, 2014. Here are a few examples of what's on sale the next few days.
iPad mini Keyboard: Only $30 (normally $100) - While any external keyboard makes typing easier on your iPad mini, Zagg promises you will love its "unique hinge" system that allows you more viewing angles than the competition. The keyboard cover features a reversible reading option for when you're not typing, backlit keys and Bluetooth support. Zagg also claims that its mini keyboard is "one of the thinnest keyboards available" on the market.