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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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realme launches narzo 20 Pro with Helio G95, 65W fast charging

Xiaomi should be worried

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realme started the narzo series earlier this year and it’s all set to launch a successor. The narzo 20 series consists of the narzo 20A, narzo 20, and narzo 20 Pro. These phones are made for the affordable segment and will be directly competing against the Redmi Note 9 series and POCO X2.

The phone features a reflective design that creates a multi-layer downward arrow pattern. Continuing realme’s design language, it features a vertical quad-camera setup with the narzo branding in focus. The fingerprint scanner is located on the side.

On the front is a 6.5-inch LCD display with Full HD+ resolution, 90Hz refresh rate, Gorilla Glass protection, and a punch-hole cut-out for the front camera.

Powering the phone is an octa-core MediaTek Helio G95 processor with Mali-G76 MC4 GPU. Storage is expandable via a dedicated microSD card slot. It has a new carbon fiber cooling system that ensures consistent performance during extended usage.

The rear features a quad-camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel macro lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. On the front is a 16-megapixel camera for selfies. The software supports night filters, AI enhancement, and improved low-light performance.

Backing these internal is a 4500mAh battery that supports 65W fast charging. realme claims it can fully charge the battery in 38 minutes. Lastly, the phone ships with realme IU out-of-the-box.

The narzo 20 Pro costs INR 14,999 for 6GB+64GB and INR 16,999 for 8GB+128GB. It’ll be available in Black Ninja and White Knight color options and shall go on sale from September 25 via Flipkart, realme.com, and offline stores.

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YouTube reaches over 40M Philippine adult viewers

This opens up opportunities for local marketers

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Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

As marketers in the Philippines received their Brandcast Delivered experience, YouTube’s annual event for brands which pivoted into an online moment this year, the video platform announced that more than 40 million unique viewers in the Philippines are watching on YouTube every month over the past year. Watch time across content genres and the number of channels with more than 100k subscribers continue to grow, bringing opportunities to creators and businesses in the country.

YouTube shared that more than 50% of the 40 million unique local viewers are aged 18-34 years old. Watch time grew by over 50% where Filipinos used the platform to fuel their passion points and expand their knowledge to cope with the extended periods of the quarantine.

Watch time logged for gardening contents grew by more than 4x, while that for art videos doubled. Time spent watching strategy game videos and fitness contents grew by more than thrice respectively. Meanwhile, watch time for knowledge videos saw more than 90% increase.

As the home of Filipino creators, YouTube now has over 1,750 channels that have 100k+ subscribers. Their profile continues to diversify as more creators coming from various backgrounds go to YouTube to share their inspiring stories like: Dwight Tamayo, a NextUp Finalist and a poultry farmer from Masbate, uses YouTube to share his knowledge about his expertise to help his co-farmers and those interested in poultry farming; EduCreator Team Lyqa, who just reached the 1M-subscriber mark, demonstrates the capability of YouTube for learning; and Mimiyuuuh, the most recent YouTube Philippines’ Emerging Creator of the Year, who has been bringing joy to millions of Filipino viewers.

“YouTube continues to bring opportunities for creators and local businesses in the Philippines,” said Bernadette Nacario, Google Philippines Country Director.

“As watch time and audiences on YouTube grow, creators can expand their reach and diversify their content storytelling. Over the last few years, we’ve also launched a number of products such as YouTube Video Builder to help MSMEs, which form the majority of our economy, leverage the power of YouTube as part of their digital strategy. Any small business can use YouTube as long as they have a clear objective, a creative idea, and a target audience to engage.”

Creative effectiveness in the time of COVID-19 with YouTube

Marketers use YouTube to tell great brand stories. With most target audiences consuming content online, brands are crafting authentic, emotional, and insightful videos that offer deep and personal experiences for their consumers.

The most effective brands ads are those that move the emotions of the viewers, making them laugh, cry, or feel inspired. An example is the Ads Leaderboard winner for the month of May–Lactum’s Mother’s Day campaign: Alagang Ramdam ng Bawat Pilipino (A Care that is Felt by Every Filipino).

The video narrates a compelling and relevant story about a mother’s love and highlights the heroic roles that moms, who are also COVID-19 frontliners, are taking on in these challenging times.  The ad was successful as it struck a chord with the viewers’ hearts, especially since the Philippines is a family-oriented market.

“On YouTube, we are seeing advertisers that are starting to make ads that anticipate and embrace this new reality. As many businesses continue to think about how to navigate these uncertain times, creatives are experimenting with different storytelling styles,” said Ben Jones, Global Creative Director for Google’s Unskippable Labs.

“From reimagining existing assets, reinvigorating animation to miracles of editing that take our breath away, we are seeing ads that are both effective and distinctive despite the constraints.”

To harness the creative effectiveness of YouTube and deliver a personalized experience, marketers should:

  • Tap into a growing digital population
  • Reach out to every category of consumer now that brands can leverage a single platform to reach audiences based on their interests and passions
  • Explore different content formats as multiple categories grow in popularity
  • Stay engaged as consumers keep looking for a steady stream of fresh content

This is a press release from YouTube Philippines.

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OPPO Reno 4 SE launches with Dimensity 720 SoC, triple rear cameras

OPPO going the Apple way

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OPPO has successfully established itself in the midrange segment with the help of the Reno lineup. Further expanding the portfolio, the brand has now launched a new phone dubbed the OPPO Reno 4 SE.

It follows the Reno 4 series design language and has a reflective back. The rear camera bump has an iPhone-like aura, but it has four circular bumps for the sensor and flashlight. In line with all Reno phones, it features extremely fast charging, powerful cameras, and a premium design.

Going by its name, OPPO has taken some inspiration from Apple’s lineup, and the phone complements the existing family consisting of the Reno 4 and Reno 4 Pro. It serves as an affordable midrange option.

On the front is a 6.4-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a high screen-to-body ratio of more than 90 percent and a punch-hole cut-out for the front camera. Powering the phone is an octa-core MediaTek Dimensity 720 processor that supports 5G connectivity and 8GB RAM. Storage is not expandable via a microSD card.

The rear sports a triple rear camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 2-megapixel macro sensor. For selfies, the punch-hole cut-out houses a 32-megapixel camera.

Backing these internals is a 4300mAh battery that supports 65W fast charging. For authentication, an in-display fingerprint scanner is provided and the phone ships with ColorOS out-of-the-box.

The OPPO Reno 4 SE starts at CNY 2,499 (US$ 369) for 8GB+128GB option and CNY 2,799 (US$ 413) for the 8GB+256GB variant. The phone will be available in Super Flash Black, Super Flash Blue, and Super Flash White and goes on sale from September 25. The launch is limited to China for now and there’s no update on international availability yet.

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