Tuesday December 4, 2018 4:55 am PST by Mitchel Broussard
Microsoft this week shared a new ad on its Microsoft Surface YouTube channel, this one aimed at promoting the Surface Go. As the ad begins, a little girl stares into the window of a Microsoft Store and begins singing about her preference for the Surface Go over Apple's iPad, to the tune of the song "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer."
She sings, "Grandma don't run out and buy an iPad, it was fine when I was six but now I'm 10. My dreams are big so I need a real computer, to do all the amazing things I know I can." Microsoft's ad is aimed at Apple's own "What's a Computer?" ad campaign, which began in 2016 and showed off a few of the things that the iPad Pro can do as a replacement to a traditional laptop computer.
Microsoft's description of the video includes a reference to needing a "real computer": "Big dreams need a real computer, like the Surface Go, to help make them come true. This holiday season, discover all the possibilities with the Surface Go. Portable, powerful and starts at $399."
The Surface Go launched over the summer at a price point of $399, making it a direct competitor to Apple's cheaper iPads. The Go is basically a smaller version of the $799 Surface Pro, including the integrated kickstand and a front-facing camera above the 1800 x 1200 resolution IPS touchscreen display.
Orders placed today are estimated to be delivered in the first week of December. Quantities are limited, however, so we recommend acting fast or using Refurb Tracker to monitor when inventory is replenished.
Apple says certified refurbished iPad models are thoroughly inspected, tested, cleaned, and repackaged in a new white box, with all accessories and documentation included. Every refurbished iPad receives a new battery and a new outer shell, making it virtually indistinguishable from a brand new iPad.
Every refurbished iPad is covered by Apple's standard one-year warranty effective on the date the tablet is delivered. The coverage can be extended to two years from the refurbished purchase date with AppleCare+ for iPad, which costs $69 or $3.49 per month for the the 9.7-inch iPad in the United States.
While certified refurbished iPads represent a decent opportunity for savings, better deals were offered on the sixth-generation 9.7-inch iPad on Black Friday last week. Walmart and Target, for example, offered the Wi-Fi model with 32GB of storage for just $249 brand new, less than Apple's refurbished price of $279.
Those interested in a better deal on the sixth-generation iPad can monitor the price charts in our continuously updated Apple Deals roundup.
Thursday August 2, 2018 6:30 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Despite the worldwide tablet market declining in shipments for 14 consecutive quarters, the iPad is seeing growth, and regaining market share over its competitors, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.
Earlier this week, Apple reported that it sold 11.55 million iPads in the second quarter of 2018, spanning April 1 through June 30. Those sales gave Apple a 28.2 percent share of the worldwide tablet market in the second quarter, its highest in that period since 2013, according to Strategy Analytics.
Apple's second quarter share of the worldwide tablet market based on historical data from the research firm:
Apple's market share was boosted by the launch of a new lower-cost iPad in late March, shortly prior to the educational buying season, and just days before the second quarter. The tablet, starting at $329, lowered the iPad's average selling price to $410 last quarter, down from $434 in the year-ago period.
Apple's presence in both the lower-priced market, with the iPad, and higher-end market, with the iPad Pro, is putting pressure on its competitors like Microsoft and Samsung, according to Strategy Analytics.
Chirag Upadhyay, Senior Research Analyst at Strategy Analytics:
Apple is using its market size and brand power to put pressure on its Windows and Android competitors. By lowering prices and adding more functionality during every product cycle for the last year, Apple has regained several points of market share and still maintaining a strong ASP due to its Pro and standard iPad mix. Android vendors, in particular, should be very concerned with how much revenue they are losing to Apple in 2018.
Android shipments fell to 23.6 million units worldwide in the second quarter, down 10 percent from 26.4 million in the year-ago quarter, according to Strategy Analytics. Likewise, Windows shipments fell two percent to 5.8 million units in the second quarter, from 5.9 million a year earlier, the research firm said.
Nevertheless, Microsoft's shipments of the Surface Pro and Surface Book 2 reached over one million in the second quarter, and could reap even better results in the current quarter with the release of the Surface Go, according to Eric Smith, Director of Connected Computing at Strategy Analytics.
Surface Go launches today with a base price of $399, although with a Type Cover keyboard, the price jumps to $498.
For now, though, the iPad easily remains the world's most popular tablet, in a market where many Android vendors are losing share and revenue due to falling prices and a perceived lack of innovation.
Microsoft yesterday unveiled the 10-inch Surface Go, the company's smallest and lightest tablet computer to date. Priced at $399, the device is aimed at the same $500-and-under market as Apple's 9.7-inch iPad, which starts at $329.
Looks-wise, the Go is basically a smaller version of the $799 Surface Pro, including the integrated kickstand and a front-facing camera above the 1800 x 1200 resolution IPS touchscreen display.
On the right side of the Go is a magnetic Surface Connector port for charging and connecting to a desktop dock, one USB-C port, and a headphone jack, with a microSD card slot located underneath the hinge.
Inside, the Go features a fanless Kaby Lake dual-core Intel Pentium Gold processor, 4GB or 8GB RAM, and 64GB or 128GB solid-state storage. Microsoft claims the Go has up to 9 hours of battery life.
Weighing in at 1.15lbs, the Go is slightly heavier than Apple's iPad. Like the Surface Pro, the Go supports the $99 Surface Pen (Apple added Apple Pencil support to its $329 iPad in March) and optional keyboard cover, which starts at $99 in black, with four color options costing $129. The optional Surface Mobile Mouse costs $35.
Off the shelf, Surface Go devices will run Windows 10 in "S mode", a streamlined version of Microsoft's desktop OS that only runs verified apps downloaded from the Windows Store, although customers can switch to the regular version of Windows 10 at no additional cost. For business customers, Microsoft is also offering a Surface Go with Windows 10 Pro installed for $449.
The $399 Surface Go ships August 2 in the U.S. and two dozen other markets, with Wi-Fi versions available initially and LTE versions to come later in the year.
Many of the comparisons are exaggerated — for example, the baby on the plane suddenly stops crying when the camera pans over the passenger using an iPad — but the ads convey a clear message about the iPad's versatility.
Two of the ads show the iPad Pro, and two show the sixth-generation iPad, introduced at Apple's education event last March. The latter is priced from $329 in the United States, serving as a lower-cost alternative to the iPad Pro.
Wednesday May 16, 2018 6:19 am PDT by Mitchel Broussard
As Apple's iPad and Microsoft's Surface continue to compete in the tablet market, a new report out today by Bloomberg claims that Microsoft is planning its next tablet line to be lower-cost in an effort to attract people to Surface products who aren't interested in the more expensive Surface Pro. The move is directly aimed at competing with Apple's recently launched $329 iPad, and could see Microsoft debut the devices as soon as the second half of 2018.
According to people familiar with the company's plans, the tablets will be priced at around $400, so they would still be more expensive than Apple's cheapest options. They will be the first Surface devices to adopt USB-C and rounded edges "like an iPad," instead of the square corners of the current devices. Storage tiers will include 64GB and 128GB, as well as LTE options, and the devices will feature 10-inch screens.
The Surface Pro
In an effort to make the tablets 20 percent lighter than the high-end $799 Surface Pro, Microsoft is believed to sacrifice battery life by as much as "four hours fewer" than the current generation (13.5 hours for Surface Pro). Not much is known about the insides of the upcoming tablets, but the people said that Intel will supply the main processor and graphics chips.
The devices will continue to have the kickstand for upright typing and video watching seen in current Surface models, and they will run Windows 10 Pro. Ultimately, the company is trying to enter the low-cost market again after previous attempts with the Surface RT in 2012 and the Surface 3 in 2015, which both started at $499 and performed poorly in comparison to the growing Surface Pro line.
Microsoft has struggled to find a high-volume hit with the Surface devices as well as to introduce a flow of new choices to keep growth steady. In the fiscal year that ended last June, Surface revenue declined 2 percent as the company faced lower volume sales owing to an aging Surface Pro line. Revenue rose 32 percent in the most recent quarter, indicating new interest in Microsoft’s hardware.
Apple sold about 44 million iPads that generated almost $20 billion in revenue during the past four quarters. Microsoft’s entire Surface hardware business produced $4.4 billion for the same period.
Microsoft is believed to be looking at Apple's education-focused iPad launch from earlier in 2018, and the new Surface models "could likewise appeal to students and teachers," as well as schools that look into buying cheap tablets in bulk. With the cheaper Surface, the company is planning low-cost updates to its keyboard cover, stylus, and mouse. Prices haven't yet been pinpointed, but as a comparison the current keyboard cover runs for $160.
Apple's low-cost iPad includes Apple Pencil support, an A10 Fusion chip with 64-bit desktop-class architecture, a Retina display, enhanced cameras, and advanced sensors with a gyroscope and accelerometer, which fuel powerful augmented reality apps through ARKit. Although the iPad is normally $329 for consumers when not on sale, Apple sells it at $299 to schools and says that the tablet was built for mobility and durability for students, sporting an aluminum unibody construction.
Apple has several major iPad-focused features planned for next year's iOS 13 update, codenamed "Yukon," according to information shared by Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman on Twitter.
Apple is said to be working on a revamped Files app, in-app tabs similar to the tabs that are available in macOS apps, support for using the same app side-by-side in Split View multitasking mode, and unspecified improvements to Apple Pencil. Some of this information was previously shared by Gurman in reports on Bloomberg, but details such as a revamped Files app are new.
Gurman also previously said that some features originally planned for iOS 12 will be pushed back to iOS 13 to allow Apple to work on bug fixes and performance improvements. These features include a redesigned Home screen (which will include changes on the iPad) and a revamped Photos app.
Somewhat. iOS 13 “Yukon” will have a big iPad-focused feature upgrade as well, including an updated Files app. some other things in the works are tabs in apps like in MacOS, same app side by side, Apple Pencil stuff. The home screen redesign is iPad focused.
iOS 11, the current version of iOS, was also an iPad-focused update, introducing the Files app, a revamped iPad dock, a new App Switcher, Drag and Drop support, new Apple Pencil features like Instant Markup and Instant Notes, a redesigned QuickType keyboard, and more.
iOS 12, coming this year, will offer fewer new features than Apple had originally planned, but Gurman believes Apple will introduce at least one major change that also affects macOS 10.14 - support for cross-platform apps. Apple is said to be working to implement features that would allow apps designed for the iPhone and the iPad to run on the Mac, but there has been some disagreement over when this feature will debut.
Daring Fireball's John Gruber says Apple will not introduce this functionality until iOS 13 and macOS 10.15, so it is unclear if it will indeed be coming in iOS 12. Gurman does, however, often share accurate information on Apple's software updates ahead of their release.
Other features planned for iOS 12 include additional Animoji characters, a new Animoji interface and Animojis on iPad, FaceTime support for Animoji, updated parental controls with a new Digital Health tool to allow parents to better monitor screen time, a revamped Stocks app, an enhanced version of Do Not Disturb, and support for multiplayer augmented reality games.
Apple will unveil iOS 12, macOS 10.14, tvOS 12, and watchOS 5 at its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference that kicks off on Monday, June 4. The first day will include a keynote event where Apple will share all of the new features coming in the software updates, and following the keynote, developers will be provided with access to the software to begin to prepare their apps ahead of a fall public launch.
Apple's new low-cost sixth-generation iPad with Apple Pencil support has likely spurred many new customers to adopt an iPad or upgrade from an older model. At just $329, the new iPad is much more affordable than the iPad Pro, making it easier than ever to get your hands on a tablet that works with the Apple Pencil.
For new iPad owners, we've rounded up a handful of apps that are well worth checking out if you want to use your iPad for creative tasks like photo editing, sketching, video editing, drawing, and more, plus we've thrown in some useful productivity apps.
Affinity Photo ($19.99) - Affinity Photo is a desktop-class photo editing app that's available on the iPad, and it's a useful app for both photo editing and drawing with support for unlimited layers, photo adjustment tools, filters, retouching, and more. It requires a powerful processor, so it's only compatible with the iPad Air 2, the 5th and 6th-generation iPads, and iPad Pro models, and you can use the iPad for drawing and selectively editing. Affinity Photo isn't cheap, but if you want one of the best photo editing tools you can get on the iPad, it's worth checking out.
Procreate ($9.99) - Procreate is a popular and well-known sketching, drawing, and painting app. Because it's been available on the iPad for years, the Procreate team has had a lot of time to make improvements and refinements to the app, making it the go to for many artists who work on the iPad. It has been optimized for Apple Pencil, so you can create works of art with Apple's stylus. It features customizable brushes, support for layers, and a 64-bit painting engine that supports high-resolution artwork. If you want to draw or paint on your iPad, Procreate is one of the apps to check out.
LumaFusion ($19.99) - If you want to edit video on the iPad but want something more than iMovie, LumaFusion is a powerful video editing option that you'll want to take a look at. Using LumaFusion, you can do everything you might do with a desktop app, like trimming clips, adding in transitions, correcting color, adding effects, using slow-motion, fast forward, and reverse, and adding titles, audio, and more.
Astropad ($29.99) - Astropad is a unique app that's designed to turn your iPad into a graphics tablet for your Mac, so you can use it like a Wacom tablet or similar device. With Astropad, you can draw on your iPad with Apple Pencil and your drawings will be sent over to your Mac wirelessly. It works with any Mac app, including Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, Affinity Photo, and Pixelmator.
Copied (Free) - Copied is a useful productivity app that can be used to save snippets of text that you've copied on the iPad, letting you keep track of text, links images, and more. Snippets you've saved can be easily inserted into new documents, and on the iPad, Copied supports full drag and drop functionality and multitasking, so saving information is as simple as dragging it from your current app to Copied.
What are your favorite apps for the iPad that new users should check out? Let us know in the comments.
Wednesday April 4, 2018 4:10 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today shared new iPad tutorial videos on its YouTube channel, which appear to be aimed at customers who have purchased the new sixth-generation iPad with Apple Pencil support. Apple has also aggregated all of the videos on an iPad how to website.
The first video, which is a minute long, focuses on using the Instant Markup feature that's designed to allow users to draw on and annotate screenshots on the iPad. The tutorial walks through every step of the process, from capturing a screenshot on iPad using the Home button and the power button to using the Apple Pencil to mark it up to sharing the finished product.
Apple's second tutorial video covers Split View multitasking to use two apps at the same time. The video instructs users on accessing the dock to open two apps at the same time, and then it covers drag and drop techniques.
Several other unlisted tutorial videos cover features like using the iPad's keyboard, using the Files app, working with multiple emails, and sketching in the Notes app.
Apple has shared several tutorial videos like this in the past, which are often tied to new releases. Tutorial videos can typically be found on the separate Apple Support YouTube channel, but these new tutorial videos are on the company's main channel for new iPad owners.
The new sixth-generation iPad went on sale last week after its debut at Apple's March 27 educational event. The new tablet, which is priced at $329, boasts a new A10 Fusion processor and support for the Apple Pencil.
Tuesday April 3, 2018 7:15 am PDT by Mitchel Broussard
iFixit today published its teardown of Apple's sixth-generation, education-focused iPad and found that -- unsurprisingly -- the tablet shares many of the internals of the fifth-gen iPad. The teardown crew also looked at the new iPad's potential for durability and repairability in an education environment by comparing it to competitors in the field.
Images via iFixit
The new iPad's lack of waterproofing, non-replaceable charging port, zero upgradeability, and use of glue throughout the internals added up to a "repair nightmare." iFixit then pointed towards the HP Elite x2 1012 G1 tablet, which got a perfect repairability score of 10 out of 10, summarizing that "Apple's 'education' iPad is still a case of won't — not can't."
Looking into the iPad's internals, the two major updates in the new tablet are an upgraded A10 processor and Broadcom chips for Apple Pencil support. iFixit got a peek inside the iPad using Creative Electron's X-ray imaging software, discovering "only minor differences" when compared to a similar X-ray of the previous iPad.
One of the iPad's advantages in terms of repairability comes in the form of its digitizer panel easily separating from the display. iFixit pointed out that in the event that either component should break, repair will be easier for schools and educators.
In the education space, Apple has some stiff competition in the form of low-cost, Google-powered laptops. How does this iPad, er, stack up against a Chromebook from HP or Asus? Given that schoolkids can be a bit rough on their electronics, here's an iFixit take on it:
iPad's glued-glass display is more vulnerable to drops. Thankfully, this is the one iPad that retains an air-gapped digitizer panel—not as visually impressive as other recent iPads, but it's much cheaper to replace cracked glass that isn't LOCA-bonded to the display panel underneath. Separate accessories like the keyboard and Pencil add to the cost and are easier to lose—but are also easier to replace if damaged. (Note the missing key on our HP's keyboard.)
Eventually, iFixit got down to the logic board and discovered the iPad's A10 Fusion processor and two Broadcom touch screen controller chips, previously found in the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models. iFixit theorized that the new iPad's Apple Pencil support "comes in part thanks to this "Pro"-grade chip."
The sixth-gen iPad has the same battery as the previous model, with 32.9 Wh capacity. iFixit noted that while this allows Apple to reuse existing manufacturing lines to reduce waste, the battery is still locked behind a "repair-impeding adhesive" that greatly reduced the iPad's repairability score. Apple has provided easy battery removal before, in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, but iFixit hasn't seen anything like it since.
Ultimately, iFixit gave the 2018 iPad a repairability score of 2 out of 10, favoring the fairly easy repair options of its air-gapped, non-fused display and digitizer glass, but taking marks off for its heavy use of adhesive and sticky tape. To read the full teardown, visit iFixit.com.
Apple's March event, held last week, focused on a new sixth-generation iPad aimed at the educational market. The device, which went on sale following the event and became available in retail stores on Friday, is an upgraded version of the fifth-generation iPad with one important new feature - support for the Apple Pencil.
We picked up one of Apple's new $329 tablets over the weekend and tested it out to give MacRumors readers considering a purchase a closer look at the new device.
Design wise, the sixth-generation iPad doesn't look any different from the fifth-generation iPad. It's the same thickness as the original iPad Air (aka thicker than the iPad Pro and the iPad Air 2), and it has the same non-laminated display to keep costs down.
That display is equipped with a new touch sensor, though, which enables it to work with the $99 Apple Pencil. Using the Apple Pencil on the new iPad is essentially identical to using it on an iPad Pro, with the accessory offering a smooth writing experience with no jitters or lag.
Inside, the new iPad is equipped with an A10 Fusion processor, which isn't quite as powerful as the processor in the iPad Pro, Apple's flagship tablet, but it's a solid improvement over the A9 in the fifth-generation model. This is the same processor that's in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and it's going to be viable for apps and games for several years to come.
Compared to the iPad Pro, the new iPad has a lower-quality display and lower-quality cameras (8MP vs 12MP at rear, 1.2MP vs 7MP in front) along with the slower processor, but if you don't need those features, the sixth-generation iPad is a fantastic tablet for its price point and an affordable way to get a device with Apple Pencil support.
Apple plans to discount the sixth-generation iPad to $299 for schools, which will make it an attractive option. The Apple Pencil will be available for $89, and Logitech also plans to sell a lower-cost Apple Pencil-style stylus called Crayon to schools for $49.
For more information on the new iPad, including a comparison chart that pits it against the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and the fifth-generation iPad, make sure to check out our dedicated iPad roundup.
Apple's new sixth-generation iPad is available in Apple retail stores starting today, which means customers who are aiming to get one of the new tablets can check stock and arrange for an in-store pickup using Apple's online tools.
A stock check using the in-store pickup option suggests the new iPad is readily available at most Apple Stores in the United States, with plenty for walk-in customers who want to snag one of the affordable new tablets or check one out before purchasing.
Priced starting at $329, the iPad comes in 32GB and 128GB configurations, with both WiFi only and WiFi + Cellular options available. It's available in Silver, Space Gray, and a new shade of Gold.
Apple first announced the iPad at an event in Chicago on Tuesday and began taking orders for the device on that day.
The new iPad is Apple's first tablet aside from the iPad Pro to offer full support for the Apple Pencil, which makes it an attractive option for customers who want the functionality of the Apple Pencil without the iPad Pro's price tag.
It also comes equipped with an upgraded A10 Fusion processor, so it's a good deal faster than the fifth-generation iPad. While it does have a Retina display, compared to the iPad Pro, it is lacking several advanced display options like ProMotion technology, True Tone, wide color support, and more.
Customers who purchased an iPad earlier this week should be seeing deliveries soon, as the tablets have been shipped out and are set to be delivered starting today.
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