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New iPad Air and iPad mini improve on performance, add Pencil support

Serious updates to beloved models

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iPad Air (2019)

Apple made a surprise announcement today, releasing two new iPads in the Air and mini lines.

The first is the new 10.5-inch iPad Air which comes in a slimmer design. It offers much-improved performance too with the A12 Bionic chip and Apple’s Neural Engine.


Apple claims that the new iPad Air offers a 70 percent boost in performance and twice the graphics capability compared to its predecessor. As expected, there’s Apple Pencil support plus the same Wi-Fi and Gigabit‑class LTE connectivity found in iPad Pro models.

iPad mini (2019)

The other release is the long-awaited 7.9-inch iPad mini update which also comes with Apple Pencil support, an A12 Bionic chip, and Retina display with True Tone tech and wide color support.

It’s a major upgrade to the smallest member of the iPad family. Apple touts it as a “take-anywhere notepad for sketching and jotting down thoughts” wherever you go.

“iPad continues to provide magical new experiences for a growing range of uses where it is the absolute best device, from playing games in augmented reality to note-taking and drawing with Apple Pencil, from streaming HD movies and editing 4K films to learning to develop apps with Swift Playgrounds,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

Both models are offered in silver, space gray, and gold with 64GB and 256GB storage configurations.

The new iPad mini starts at SG$ 599 for the Wi-Fi model and SG$ 799 for the cellular variant. The newest iPad Air starts at SG$ 749 for the Wi-Fi model and SG$ 949 for the cellular version.

The two iPads are available beginning today in Singapore, the US, and many more countries in multiple continents.

Enterprise

Philippines: Huawei ban ‘will have a little impact’ on the country

States the Philippines’ robust cybersecurity measures

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Throughout the past few days, the Huawei debacle has devastated companies and consumers across the globe. Everyone is falling for the fear. Huawei’s long-standing suppliers have cut ties with the company. Huawei’s consumers are getting rid of their favored headsets. The wave has swept the whole world.

Naturally, the Philippines isn’t immune. Recently, smartphone retailers and resellers have started refusing Huawei devices from their stores. Local Huawei users can’t easily sell their devices to the second-hand market anymore.


However, an important question still stands. How much will the Huawei ban affect the Philippines?

Of course, the ban originates from Trump’s trade war against China. Among other reasons, the American government cites the company’s inherent cybersecurity risks as the prime motivator. Supposedly, Huawei’s telecommunications hardware can transmit valuable data to the Chinese government. Given the Philippines’ proximity to China, are we also at risk?

According to the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Huawei’s ban “will have a little impact in the Philippine telecommunications industry.” Shared through a Facebook post, the DICT assures users of the country’s robust cybersecurity measures. As of now, the department has not reported any cybersecurity breaches coming from Huawei equipment.

Likewise, shortly after the news broke, local telcos confirmed continued support for Huawei’s devices. According to the DICT, “they will diversify in their present and future procurements of equipment to make their networks more robust and future proof.” The department is also imposing strict rules on local telcos regarding network monitoring. The statement also quickly adds the imposition of the same rules on a potential third telco.

Is the DICT’s statement believable? For now, Huawei’s impact is still marginal at best. Companies and consumers are going on the perceived risk of the future. Right now, Huawei has not announced drastic changes to its products yet. Existing Huawei products still support Google.

Of course, cybersecurity is another issue. The risk will always exist when foreign companies control the telecommunications equipment of another country. At the very least, the DICT isn’t treating the whole debacle as a non-issue. Hopefully, the department’s promises are an optimistic sign for the country’s telecommunications industry.

SEE ALSO: Huawei granted 90-day extension before total ban

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IGTV adds support for horizontal video

No longer exclusive to vertical content

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When Instagram’s IGTV platform first launched, it was special for its focus on vertically oriented videos. The reasoning here is that this is how people naturally hold their smartphones, and vertical video recording has become a standard.

Unfortunately, IGTV didn’t exactly fly from the get-go. Even after certain adjustments, such as integrating its system into Instagram itself for better exposure, content creators and casual users couldn’t fully embrace the platform.


In yet another move — possibly the most drastic yet — IGTV will now support landscape videos. This comes as a response to both creators and viewers who want to upload and watch videos in “a more natural way.”

“Ultimately, our vision is to make IGTV a destination for great content no matter how it’s shot so creators can express themselves how they want,” wrote Instagram on its blog.

The blog reminds us that a similar change happened to Instagram in 2015, when you could start uploading photos in non-square formats. IGTV hopes that this transformation will have the same positive effect.

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OPPO K3 introduces pop-up camera to budget segment

Includes midrange specs and fast charging

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It’s looking like pop-up cameras are here to stay. After making a splash last year, more and more smartphones have been using this implementation for notch-less displays.

The latest to join the trend is the OPPO K3, a budget smartphone with midrange specifications. Not only does it have a 16-megapixel camera that elevates from the top, it also owns a fast Snapdragon 710 chipset and a 6.5-inch OLED panel with an under-display fingerprint scanner.


That’s fantastic for a phone that retails at CNY 1,599 (US$ 230) for the 6GB+64GB model and CNY 1,899 (US$ 274) for the 8GB+128GB variant.

And the generous features don’t end there. The OPPO K3 also comes with VOOC 3.0 fast charging, a hefty 3765mAh battery, and a 16- plus 2-megapixel dual-camera setup on the back.

The only downsides are the micro-USB port instead of the more preferable USB-C, and the ColorOS 6 skin on top of Android 9 Pie, which purists may say isn’t as feature-packed as other Android skins.

The OPPO K3 is already available in China. International availability, as always, will happen at a later date if we’re lucky.

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