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The new iPad Air carries Apple’s most advanced chip

The most powerful iPad Air ever

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Apple’s latest chip — the A14 Bionic — was probably supposed to debut on the iPhone 12 but the pandemic happened and that announcement had to be delayed. Regardless, it still made a splash as the headlining component of the new iPad Air. 

Most Powerful iPad Air with A14 Bionic

The A14 Bionic chip offers a new six-core design for a 40 percent boost in CPU performance. There’s also a new four-core graphics architecture for a 30 percent improvement in graphics.

Apple showed side-by-side shots of a game and it showcased how the new chip helps in rendering an overall better visual experience of the game. There’s also no lag despite the more demanding graphics settings.

Its combination of the new Neural Engine, CPU machine learning accelerators, and high-performance GPU enables powerful on-device experiences for image recognition, natural language learning, analyzing motion, and more.

More colors, new finishes 

The upgrades aren’t all on the inside. The new iPad Air features a completely new thin and light design in five gorgeous finishes: silver, space gray, rose gold, green, and sky blue.

The new all-screen design features a larger 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display for a stunning visual experience.

To allow the display to extend on all sides, a next-generation Touch ID sensor is integrated into the top button. It provides the same fast, easy, and secure way to unlock iPad Air, log in to apps, or use Apple Pay that customers know and love.

The  iPad Air is compatible with Magic Keyboard and its floating design, and built-in trackpad, Smart Keyboard Folio, and new Smart Folio covers. It will also work with the Apple Pencil which attaches magnetically to the side for easy pairing, charging, and storing.

Upgraded camera, USB-C port 

The new iPad Air now features the same 12MP rear camera used in iPad Pro for higher resolution photos and 4K video capture. The new design features stereo speakers in landscape mode for a much better audio experience.

Also, Apple finally relented and opted for a USB-C port for up to 5GBps of data transfer. This is standard for connecting cameras, hard drives, and external monitors up to 4K. Highly unlikely though that we’ll see the same port on the iPhone 12. But we’ll see.

Distinct experience with iPadOS 14

Hardware is only half the battle. The biggest draw of the iPad over other tablets is iPadOS and the latest of which — iPadOS 14 — will run on the new iPad Air.

It better integrates Apple Pencil into the iPad experience for better note-taking capabilities, and new ways to work with handwritten notes. Smart Selection can now distinguish handwriting from drawings. Handwriting can be selected, cut, and pasted into another document as typed text using gestures that iPad users will be familiar with.

Shape recognition allows users to draw shapes that are made geometrically perfect and snap right into place when adding diagrams and illustrations in Notes.

Data detectors work seamlessly with handwritten text, recognizing phone numbers, dates, addresses, and links, making it easy for users to perform actions like tapping a handwritten number to make a call.

All of these will be available on the IPad Air plus more IPadOS 14 features.

Most environmentally friendly iPad Air

Perhaps this is the best thing about the new iPad Air that will likely go unnoticed. Apple already promised to bring its carbon footprint to net zero by 2030 and they’ve already started.

The iPad Air uses a 100 percent recycled aluminum enclosure and 100 percent recycled tin for the solder on its main logic board. The new speakers in iPad Air also use magnets with 100 percent recycled rare earth elements.

It remains free of harmful substances, is highly energy efficient, and uses wood fiber packaging that is recycled or comes from responsibly managed forests.

Pricing and availability

  • The new iPad Air will be available starting next month on apple.com and in the Apple Store app in 30 countries and regions, including the US. Wi-Fi models will be available with a starting price of US$ 599 and Wi-Fi + Cellular models start at US$ 729. It comes in 64GB and 256GB configurations, and will be available in five beautiful finishes including silver, space gray, rose gold, green, and sky blue.
  • iPadOS 14, the powerful operating system designed specifically for iPad, ships for free with the new eighth-generation iPad and new iPad Air, and will be available as a free software update tomorrow for all iPad Pro models, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, and iPad mini 4 and later.
  • Apple Pencil (2nd generation), available for purchase separately for US$129, is compatible with iPad Air.
  • Magic Keyboard and the Smart Keyboard Folio for iPad Air are available for purchase separately for US$ 299 and US$ 179, respectively, both with layouts for over 30 languages, including simplified Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish.
  • Smart Folios are available for iPad Air for US$ 79 in black, white, and three new seasonal colors including deep navy, cyprus green, and pink citrus.
  • Education pricing for individuals, including current and newly accepted college students and their parents, as well as faculty, staff, and homeschool teachers of all grade levels, is available for US$ 549 for the new iPad Air. The second-generation Apple Pencil is available for US$ 119, the Smart Keyboard Folio is available for US$ 159, and Magic Keyboard for US$ 279. For more information, visit apple.com/us-hed/shop.

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Nokia XR20: Rugged smartphone with 4 years of updates

Launched alongside the budget C30 and a 6310 remake

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Fancy a smartphone that could withstand extreme conditions? Well, Nokia now has one — and with guaranteed four years of updates too. The Nokia XR20 is the company’s first rugged smartphone, complete with a host of features.

The design, for a start, is something that you would expect from a rugged smartphone. It’s a bit chunky and for a good reason: the phone is MIL-STD certified, surviving drops from 1.8 meters. The ruggedized casing also helps in shock-proofing the phone. For a peace of mind, the phone also has an IP68 water and dust resistance along with Gorilla Glass Victus on the front.

Now, some people would equate rugged smartphones with outdated specs. This is not the case for the Nokia XR20, as it rocks features on par for the mid-range market.

First up, it has a sizable 6.67-inch IPS FHD+ display with a 20:9 aspect ratio. One unique thing about this display is that it has a maximum brightness of 550 nits, and it can even operate with gloves. It’s also worth mentioning that the front bezels here don’t have any “Nokia” branding at all — a first for the company’s recent smartphone lineup.

The camera on this phone is also par for the course. Up front, there is an 8MP selfie camera located on a centered punch hole. Meanwhile, the rear cameras are made of a main 48MP wide-angle lens and a 13MP ultra-wide-angle lens.

On the performance front, there is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 chipset powering the device. It is a mid-range chipset at its best, and fortunately, it has 5G built-in for future-proofing. By default, it comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It also has plenty of support — four years of security updates, plus three years of major OS updates.

For connectivity, it has a lone USB 3.0 Type-C port with Bluetooth 5.1 built in. There’s even a 3.5 mm headphone jack included into the mix. However, Nokia also integrated dual speakers on this device if listening out loud is your jam. Finally, the device can keep up for two days thanks to its 4,630mAh battery.

The device will retail on August 24 for a price of US$ 549. Buyers can get it in two color configurations: Ultra Blue or Granite Grey.

Nokia C30 and 6310: budget and nostalgic pairs

Aside from the rugged XR20, the company also announced two new devices — the Nokia C30 and 6310. The former is a budget device that adds to the fledgling Nokia C-series line-up. It has a big 6.82 HD+ display, complete with a V-notch housing the 5MP selfie camera. The back houses the two rear cameras with a 13 MP wide-angle lens and a 2 MP depth sensor. Nokia is using an Unisoc processor here, along with the trimmed-down Android 11 Go. Furthermore, it comes with a 6,000mAh battery which is humongous for its class.

Image from Nokia

Meanwhile, the Nokia 6310 is revived and modernized 6310 that many people know from the past. Just like you would expect, it features the classic design of the long-gone feature phone but with a twist. It has a curved 2.8-inch display, a rear-facing 0.3MP camera, and Series 30+ OS. Strangely enough, there is Bluetooth 5.0 here yet 4G is nowhere to be found.

Image from Nokia

The Nokia C30 will retail for EUR 99 while the 6310 will go for EUR 40.

Via: GSMArena.com (1) (2)

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Smart Signature Plan 599 is now available

It’s their most affordable Signature Plan to date

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Smart unveils new signature plan for only PhP 599. There are two variations of this plan: a sim-only version and a signature lite with device. For the inclusions of the sim-only plan we have 5 GB monthly data allocation. Followed by unlimited calls and texts to all networks, and 100 minutes of calls to any PLDT landline.

For the signature lite with device, you get 2.5GB monthly data with unlimited calls and texts to all networks. Followed by 25 minutes of calls to any PLDT landline, this sounds like a promising plan for PhP 599.

The signature plan lite is available to new subscribers as well as existing postpaid customers. Customers may sign up for the signature plan lite at any smart store nationwide. Alternatively, you can also book a virtual appointment via Stay Smart.

“Smart’s superior network offers a superior digital experience. By launching our most affordable postpaid plan yet, we aim to empower more Filipinos with this differentiated experience so they can simply achieve more in their chosen career or passion,” said Jane J. Basas, SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business at Smart.

Smart’s new plan competes directly with Globe’s own plan 599.

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Enterprise

Apple: Leaks are causing wrongly sized iPhone cases

Issues cease-and-desist order

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Leaks have always been an important part of the smartphone cycle. Before a huge smartphone launch, leakers have always found a way to release information before the actual company. Premature information normally doesn’t affect the actual release. However, some companies certainly want to clamp down on leaks. Apple, for one, has always despised leaks. However, the company now has a different purpose for doing so: to prevent wrongly sized phone cases.

Reported by Vice, Apple has issued a cease-and-desist order against a Chinese citizen caught leaking info about upcoming iPhones. The leaker supposedly released prototypes for the devices to the public.

According to Apple, leaks ruin the surprise for consumers especially since they spoil the company’s plans. Additionally, the company says that releasing information outside of Apple’s purview will dupe case manufacturers into making cases of the wrong size especially if the actual products are of a different size.

Historically, Apple has been antagonistic against people leaking company secrets. The company has even filed lawsuits against employees caught smuggling out company secrets. Despite how much hype that leaks can generate for the company, Apple really doesn’t like its leaks.

Currently, there have already been a substantial amount of leaks surrounding the upcoming iPhone 13 series. There have also been hints for next year’s iPhone 14 series.

SEE ALSO: iPhone 14 series might use titanium chassis

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