March 30, 2012

Talkcast reminder, 10pm ET / 7 pm PT: Anticipation Edition

Well! Another Sunday, another Talkcast. We’re warming up for the big touchable announcement this week, so that means the House of Crackpot Theories will be welcoming new guests and old friends alike.

As always, Kelly hosting the show means there will be aftershow. Which could mean…well, anything really, all bets are off when the aftershow’s on.

Since it’s really all about you, the community, join me won’t you? To participate, you can use the browser-only Talkshoe client, the embedded Facebook app, or download the classic TalkShoe Pro Java client; however, for +5 Interactivity, you should call in. For the web UI, just click the Talkshoe Web button on our profile page at 4 HI/7 PDT/10 pm EDT Sunday. To call in on regular phone or VoIP lines (Viva free weekend minutes!): dial (724) 444-7444 and enter our talkcast ID, 45077 — during the call, you can request to talk by keying in *8.

If you’ve got a headset or microphone handy on your Mac (you know those headphones that came with your iPhone or iPod touch?), you can connect via the free X-Lite Zoiper, or Blink SIP clients. You can also use any other SIP clients (aside from Skype or Google Voice), with these instructions. (If you prefer Blink, the pro version is available in the Mac App Store.) Talk to you tonight!



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

More alleged third-gen iPad parts suggest just minor changes to design

By AppleInsider Staff

Published: 10:15 AM EST (07:15 AM PST)
A new report claiming to have pieced together several components for the third-generation iPad appears to show that Apple has planned few changes to the design of its popular tablet.

MIC Gadget posted on Sunday hands-on footage with an alleged front glass panel, rear shell and some internal parts to the next-generation iPad, which is expected to be unveiled at an Apple media event later this week.

The report claimed the purported next-gen iPad components debunk highly speculative rumors that Apple will remove the home button from the device. Though some had pointed to Apple’s invitation to this week’s event as evidence of the arrival of an iPad without a home button, others have claimed that the image simply showed an iPad in landscape mode.

Alleged next-gen iPad cases purchased in Shenzhen, China were found to fit the purported “iPad 3″ rear shell, which reportedly has more tapered edges than the iPad 2, perfectly. According to the publication, case manufacturers have already begun shipping thousands of such cases to the U.S. this past week. The third-generation tablet is expected to be slightly thicker than its predecessor.

Though various reports have suggested that Apple will introduce an LTE iPad at its media event on March 7, the publication’s sources assert that the company is not yet ready to enter the LTE market. According to the report, Apple’s decision to hold off on 4G data will result in the release of the third-generation iPad with the same storage options and pricing as the iPad 2. Author Steve Lo further speculated that LTE-compatible Qualcomm chipsets will “most likely” make their way into the fourth-generation iPad.

The third-generation iPad is expected to have a high-definition Retina Display with four times as many pixels as the iPad 2. The device will also likely sport an upgraded processor, though there is some disagreement whether the new chip will be a quad-core or dual-core model.

Sunday’s report also affirmed expectations that Apple will announce an update to its Apple TV set-top box this week. The new device would reportedly feature an A5X processor employing “lower nanometer manufacturing” to run cooler and more energy efficient. Tipsters went on to claim that a new “one more thing” item, codenamed B28, could make an appearance at Wednesday’s event and may have something to do with Apple’s Siri voice assistant.

Inventory of the current-generation Apple TV appears to have dried up for several different resellers even as talk of an imminent update has picked up.

AppleInsider

Londoners: Join the London MUG for the iPad 3 event on Wednesday

The London Mac User Group knows how to have fun when there are Apple events. According to Steve Naybour of the group, they’ll once again be meeting at a pub (this time, the Wood Pub in Marylebone, London) and want any TUAW readers or Apple lovers in the area to drop in.

LMUG will be featuring coverage starting at 1730 GMT, with three projector screens on which they’ll display the news, video (if any), Twitter feeds, pictures, and liveblogs. Naybour invites “anyone from the site who happens to be in town, or any of your readers … to come to the free event, grab a beer, a Thai curry and watch the details of the iPad 3.”

The official Facebook invitation can be found here along with a map to the pub. The group’s resident artist Paul Kercal made a special poster to celebrate as seen at right, and even created a short video (below) showing his work as it was progressing.

Enjoy the video, and let us know if you attend the get-together on Wednesday.



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Video Shows What The iPad 3 Looks Like When Assembled

Video Shows What The iPad 3 Looks Like When Assembled

Over the last couple of months we’ve seen a truck load of individual leaked parts of the iPad 3 hit the web, but no one has had them all in one place. Someone finally got their hands on both the front and rear shells of the iPad 3 and put them together on video to reveal that what the iPad 3 will look like.


Surprise! It looks pretty similar to the iPad 2, just slightly thicker. The iPad 2 SmartCovers still work on the iPad 3, but there’s some additional edge tapering on the iPad 3 model which may prevent some iPad 2 cases from fitting the iPad 3 properly. The video also reveals that the iPad 3 does have a home button despite wide-spread speculation that it wouldn’t.

Apple is expected to unveil the iPad 3 on March 7th at an event in San Francisco. To find out all about which features we think will be included in the iPad 3, check out our Rumor Roundup article, or you can listen to the latest episode of the CultCast to hear us discussing the rumors.

[via MIC Gadget]

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busterheineBuster Heine heads Cult of Mac’s Social Media presence as well as contributes posts as often as he gets around to it. Twitter: twitter.com/bst3r.

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Cult of Mac

Get Mountain Lion For Less – Use Discounted iTunes Gift Cards [OS X Tips]

Get Mountain Lion For Less – Use Discounted iTunes Gift Cards [OS X Tips]Click here for Cult of Mac's full archive of OS X tips!

The release of OS X Mountain Lion is still months away, but it’s never too early to save some money.

OS X Mountain Lion is going to be the first major OS X update sold and distributed exclusively through the App Store. This means that if you want to upgrade you must purchase and download it from the App Store. For savvy buyers out there, this might be a good opportunity to get a discount on your upgrade by taking advantage of special deals on iTunes Gift Cards.

There are two different types of Apple gift cards out there: the Apple Gift Card and iTunes Gift Card. You can use Apple Gift Cards for any merchandise purchase made at Apple Stores or the online Apple Store, but you cannot use it to purchase digital items sold in the iTunes Store (this includes the App Store and iBookstore) and, therefore, you will likely not be able to use it towards your Mountain Lion upgrade. If you’re shopping to save money on your Mountain Lion upgrade, skip the Apple Gift Card and go for the iTunes Gift Card.

iTunes Gift Cards may be used to purchase anything sold through the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBookstore. You may have seen the App Store and iBookstore variations of the iTunes Gift Card, but, practically speaking, there is no difference between the three – Apple treats them all the same and they all may be used to purchase the same things. When asked why Apple sells three different iTunes Gift Cards an Apple representative gave one reason: marketing. So next time you find yourself standing at a Best Buy kiosk, don’t be confused by the different iTunes Gift Card nomenclature. The takeaway here is that you will be able to use any iTunes Store gift card towards your Mountain Lion upgrade.

We still have a few months before the Mountain Lion upgrade goes live. If you expect that you’re going to want to buy the upgrade, then start shopping now and keep an eye out for deals on iTunes Gift Cards. Barring any changes to Apple’s iTunes Gift Card Terms and Conditions, using a discounted iTunes Gift Card may save you 15% — 20%+ on your Mountain Lion upgrade. These types of deals are frequent and recurring, but there may not be one available when the Mountain Lion upgrade is released so find a good deal and buy it in advance. Don’t worry about buying iTunes Gift Cards in advance because they do not expire.

We took advantage of a recent Best Buy sale, which offered iTunes Gift Cards at a 20% markdown. In addition to Cult of Mac, there are many other reputable sites out there such as Woot, which post notices about iTunes Gift Card deals from time-to-time. Keep an eye out for good deals and stay tuned.

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Cult of Mac

Five apps to entertain and educate your toddlers

One of the best toys I had for my kids was Professor Owl, a talking owl that taught them the alphabet. Sadly, Professor Owl stopped working a few years ago and we’ve never been able to find a good replacement.

Instead of continuing to buy cheap learning toys that break, my husband and I decided to use an iPad or an iPod touch filled with educational apps for our younger ones. In an earlier post, I listed five apps for the pre-school group. Now, I will list five of my favorite apps appropriate for toddlers (18 months to three-years-old). If you have any recommendations, please add them in the comments.

Wood Puzzle (US$ 1.99)

Wood Puzzle is a chunky puzzle game for toddlers. It has several different puzzles, each with six to ten pieces. The puzzles are colorful and have objects that appeal to kids like a train, princess and frog. Just like a traditional wood puzzle, your child grabs the pieces and places them in the right spot using a single finger or two fingers if they have enough dexterity. There’s also an automatic mode that’ll solve the puzzle for your child and animate the solution.

Scratch a Sketch ($ 0.99)

Scratch a Sketch is a unique toddler games which has a colorful kids picture covered by a layer of black. As the child touches the screen, the black is erased, revealing the image underneath. It’s fun for the toddlers who enjoy seeing the picture pop out at them and entertaining for the under-two set who can randomly wipe the tablet screen and gradually see the picture.

Barnyard Games for Kids (Free; $ 1.99 in-app purchase)

Barnyard Games for Kids is a series of mini-games that’s perfect for kids four and under. It has bright colorful images and catchy sounds that’ll attract your child’s attention and hold it. It’s more than just farm animals and sounds. Barnyard Games for Kids has games that’ll teach your child his or her shapes and colors, alphabet, and numbers. The app includes two free games for free and a $ 1.99 in-app purchase unlocks the rest.

Little Sky Writers ($ 1.99)

Little Sky Writers is an alphabet app that teaches children how to write their letters. It uses an airplane that sky writes each way through each letter. It’s easy for your child to trace along and my kids just love the airplane theme. There’s even a control tower voice that helps your child learn the sound and usage of each letter.

Thomas & Friends: Engine Activities ($ 1.99)

What child doesn’t love Thomas the Tank Engine? Both my boys and my girls have enjoyed the Thomas and Friends animated series. That’s why I had to buy the Thomas & Friends: Engine Activities when I spotted it in the App Store. The app includes three coloring sheets, three animated puzzles, and three collectible engine cards from Pop Goes Thomas and three of each from Creaky Cranky. There’s also a matching game that uses the engine cards that your child has collected. When your child has exhausted the content in the app, you can buy additional activity packs for 99-cents each.



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog