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I know the sandpaper joke is getting boring at this point, but bear with me for a second. Though Jobs famously dissed seven inchers as being too small to comfortably operate “unless you include sandpaper so users can sand their fingers down to a quarter of their size”, many watchers and journalists have been overanalyzing the repercussions of Apple’s rumored inexpensive 7.85-inch iPad, allegedly slated for a September launch.

I’m also guilty for this, having recently explained why I thought Apple must deliver the iPad mini sooner than later (hint: it’s the ecosystem, stupid). So let’s assume for the argument’s sake that the iPad mini is coming soon, rocking a 1024-by-768 pixels packed on a screen between seven and eight inches diagonally.

How would the new form factor affect developers, end-users and usability?

There will soon be two tablet markets: The existing (iPad) market comprised of high-end nine and above inches devices such as the iPad or Microsoft’s upcoming Surface tablet, and the low-end tweener slates dominated by the likes of Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7, both having a display measuring seven inches diagonally. Mike Elgan goes as far to predict that small tablets will dominate the tablet market.

Should Apple do something about tweener tablets, the company will face a huge dilemma: put the burden on developers by demanding they adapt existing apps to a new form factor or do the heavy lifting by scaling the iPad’s interface down to a 7.8-inch display.

The question is, wouldn’t user interface elements in the case of the latter got too small to comfortably hit with your finger? According to developer Joel Bernstein, shrinking the iPad’s screen to 7.85 inches would kinda equalize the iPad and the iPhone that have pixel densities of 132 and 163DPI, respectively.

Apple concluded in research that 44 points is the minimum size requirement for touch targets. That said, the company could now modify the DPI without affecting usability substantially:

A 44 point target on a 7.85″ iPad would be the same size as a 44 point target on the iPhone (0.27″). Millions of people use the iPhone every day, and have little trouble tapping a 0.27″ target. As Apple has pointed out, their fingers do not change size when they move to their iPad.

Not all apps adhere to Apple’s guidelines so messing with DPI would probably affect rare programs that have UI elements smaller than 44 points, those that require extreme precision and apps that need UI elements to be a specific physical size (such as ruler apps).

So far so good.

Not everyone is with Bernstein, of course.

Instead of scaling the iPad iOS interface down from 9.7- to fit 7.x-inches, Apple could theoretically scale up the iPhone iOS interface from 3.5- to 7.x-inches.

iMore editor Rene Ritchie explains in a lengthy piece how Apple could implement the iPad mini interface. One of his suggestions:

The idea is best conveyed using iMore’s mockup, included above.

On a somewhat related note, Apple pundit John Gruber speculated that the iPad mini could use the same display as the iPhone 3GS, only at 1024-by-768 pixels, because Apple’s been producing this display tech at scale ever since the original iPhone five years ago.

Ritchie also heard from his Apple contacts that iOS 6 as it’s running on the current iPad would simply run, scaled down, on the 7.x-inch iPad.

Pixel density would be around the same as the original 3.5-inch iPhone, 163 ppi. (Or 326, the same as the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, if and when it goes Retina.) Quite the coincidence, as noted by Daring Fireball’s John Gruber.

Regardless of whether it chooses to scale down the iPad’s user interface, introduce a new resolution or do a combination of both, Apple appears to be working on tools to let programmers write resolution-independent apps that would much better adapt to whatever form factor is at hand than today’s software.

These tools already exist on the Mac and they’ll likely make their way onto the iOS platform. And with whispers of not only a smaller iPad, but also a taller iPhone and possibly a brand new five-inch iOS device and other form factors (a full-blown television set, an iWatch-like wearable device and so forth), it’s increasingly becoming apparent that iOS developers will get a whole bunch of new resolutions to work with.

And knowing Apple, they aren’t going to shoot themselves in the foot by requiring its army of developers to support new devices without giving them the tools to make developing for multiple form factors nearly painless.

Otherwise, Apple risks derailing its ecosystem with platform fragmentation issues that are now plaguing Android.

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Meltdown And Spectre Fixes May Not Cause Catastrophic Slowdown After All

Processors. They’re not exciting, they’re not sexy, but the moment they stop running properly, you’ll sure know about it. That’s why the reveal this January that every computer, tablet and smartphone on the planet (yes, yours too) was affected by the Meltdown and Spectre processor flaws created such a news impact. Worse, the fixes for them were reported to cause up to 30 percent slowdown for a computer. However, new test findings have discovered things may not be quite so gloomy.

Meltdown and Spectre are two fundamental, unrelated flaws in how chipsets are designed. Though both were uncovered in the summer of 2023, the public wasn’t made aware of the issue until January 2023. Both flaws leave computing devices open to theoretical security threats — importantly, neither have been exploited by hackers, to date.

Chip manufacturers (principally Intel) and computing and OS brands have been racing to apply fixes to patch the security threats. Initial reports in January suggested that these workarounds could affect device performance speed by as much as 30 percent — particularly in the case of addressing Meltdown on Windows PCs. Consumers were left outraged and unsure about whether to even install the fixes.

However, a recent report by British consumer testing organisation Which? has found that the impact of the fixes may be far milder than first feared.

What are Meltdown and Spectre?

Meltdown is the name given to a flaw that affects pretty much every Intel processor from the past couple of decades. If exploited, it could allow a hacker access to the memory of your computer, and the sensitive personal data potentially stored there.

Spectre is a separate flaw that affects chips from Intel, ARM and AMD in mobile devices including Android and iOS phones and tablets. It’s a completely different type of risk — in theory, it could allow a malicious app-writer to piggyback the access to your data that a secure app has been permitted. Again, this could mean access to sensitive personal data.

Neither system flaw has been exploited, and fixes have been made available. For the most part, these have come bundled into system updates for Windows 10, macOS, iOS and the various flavours of Android.

Between the two security flaws, pretty much every computer, tablet, or phone worldwide was left vulnerable. Whatever device you’re reading this story on, it’s more than likely to be affected by Meltdown and/or Spectre, or has already received updates to address them.

Meltdown and Spectre Fixes — Slowdown Exaggerated?

Make no mistake, both security flaws need a fix. But, when the flaws were first reported, initial fears of a 30 percent slowdown after the fixes were applied to devices (Windows PCs in particular) caused understandable outrage.

So here’s the good news. In independent lab tests, UK group Which? has found that the impact of the fixes is a far more palatable 3 percent, or, in some cases, barely detectable at all. The consumer testing group set up Windows 10 laptops ranging from a top-of-the-line Microsoft Surface Book 2 to a humble sub-$300 HP Stream model, testing their processor performance against benchmarking software both before and after applying the fixes.

The conclusion? Don’t hold off installing those updates, as you’re barely likely to spot any slowdown.

“Losing any speed isn’t ideal,” says Which? tester Jack Turner. “But in real terms, this sort of drop would be indistinguishable for daily users, and a far cry from the 30% that was being mentioned back in January.”

Case closed? Perhaps not entirely. While it’s great to see that Windows 10 devices may weather the Meltdown storm, older computers running Windows 7 may have a mixed experience. Still running Windows Vista or XP? Time to upgrade or replace your PC anyway, as these operating systems are no longer supported by Microsoft and may not be secure.

Apple and Android fixes for Meltdown and Spectre

Windows users aren’t the only ones affected by these security flaws. But, it’s good news for Apple fans — according to the company, there’s no detectable impact after installing the fixes, which were made available back in December.

“Our testing with public benchmarks has shown that the changes in the December 2023 updates resulted in no measurable reduction in the performance of macOS and iOS,” states Apple.

Rolling out fixes for Android is a more complex matter. Different devices worldwide run different versions of the Android operating system, whether that’s one from a couple of years back, or a device manufacturer “re-skinning” of Android OS. Fixes for Spectre have been rolled out in waves. It’s important to ensure your device is kept up-to-date. To stay extra safe, stick to using the official Google Play store. Now’s not the time to be straying away from the vetted Google app environment.

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Just Mobile Alubolt Cradles Iphone And Ipad Mini

Docks are my favorite iPhone and iPad accessory. I am not exactly sure what about them is enticing, but having my iOS devices propped elegantly at my workstation has been alluring since I first purchased an iPhone. Apple’s products are not just devices for productivity. Apple’s products are works of carefully crafted art.

In that nature, I would rather prop them up as a showcase. You wouldn’t buy a $600 piece of art and let it lay aimlessly around your home. You would place it prominently, making sure others can tell you have great taste. You own an iPhone, right? Apply the same concept…

Design and function

The AluBolt is an upright docking stand for iPhone and iPad mini. I did throw my iPad Air on there for a test run, agreeing with Just Mobile’s primary intentions to use only the mini. iPad Air was a little wobbly on the stand because of the larger form factor. AluBolt’s base is 10.3mm (4.05″) in diameter with a brushed aluminum top plate, which houses the curved upright arm and Lightning port.

Below the aluminum plate is a black plastic base with a scratch resistant pad to protect desktops from unnecessary scratching. The bottom pad is not a micro-suction pad, however. Without an attachment point or adhesive, combined with a very light form factor, removing iPhone or iPad mini requires two hands.

There are mixed opinions about whether a dock should require two hands for removal, but I pref to grab my device and go. Using two hands to remove my device is a time waster and often annoying. The nature of stands with chargers, however, is one that has some pull requirements. The Lightning connector, in contrast to the 30 pin, seems to stay connected more intently, requiring a stronger pull to separate the device and cable. As such, any dock with a built in Lightning port will require a harder tug for removal. Consequently, unless the dock is extremely heavy, about 3lbs, or uses an adhesive like 3M or micro-suction, it will require a two handed motion to spring the iOS device.

As pictured, the black plastic housing for the Lightning pin allows movement fore and back. More dock makers seem to make this added detail a priority, which should have been included many years ago. Allowing the Lightning tip to move provides a safer connection. Most people, myself included, quickly grab their device and go, without thinking about damaging iPhone’s Lightning port. The pivoting head prevents damage both to the tip and the Lightning port located on the iOS device. Docking either the iPhone or iPad mini does not require the tip to be moved, however.

I like the unit includes a built-in USB cable. Others may take a short cut and leave out the cable, requiring a user installed job. With the included cable, I am not forced to use an Apple OEM cable, which are still in short supply around my home, car, and office.

With an upright design, the curved plastic adds an interesting flair to the overall design, matching the circular base. I would prefer an aluminum support bar, but aluminum on the back of either iPhone 5s or c, could cause scratching without a barrier. Unfortunately, there is no way to adjust, bend, or move the support bar, eliminating the user’s ability to modify the viewing angle.

Conclusion

As I mentioned, I am a pretty big fan of docks in general, making me predetermined to enjoy the AluBolt. Admittedly, I do like the AluBolt overall, but there are areas of improvement. Most notably, I really hate having to use two hands to remove my iOS device. This is picky and a personal preference, but that is a big sticking point for me. The plastic arm is also a little aggravating, including its inability to pivot, which is, again, a personal preference.

The aluminum base matches my iMac completely and the pivoting Lightning tip is an excellent damage preventer. Including the installed Lightning cable is also a big plus. As I use a wooden desk, the scratch preventing pad is appreciated, but is an opportunity cost to forego a micro-suction option.

AluBolt is available for $49.95, which is consistent with other certified MFi accessories, especially with included Lightning cables. I would be happy to pay a few extra dollars for a full aluminum design.

Who else loves docks?

Ipad Mini And Itv In Full Production, Analyst Claims

Hot on the heels of a pair of reports by usually credible The Wall Street Journal asserting Apple’s been working on a set-top box with cloud DVR and premium cable TV content, an analyst wrote in a note to clients today that a rumored iPad mini and an Apple-branded television set are both in full production now.

Based on supply checks, the note calls for 25 million iPad mini units for the September quarter and an additional 30 million units for the December quarter, which would peg iPad mini shipments for the calendar 2012 at a cool 55 million units….

As relayed by Fortune, Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek also wrote in a note to clients that Apple’s rumored full-blown HD TV set dubbed iTV is in full production now possibly showing up in stores in time for Christmas.

The iTV will sell two million units in the December quarter for an estimated average selling price of $1,250, he contends. Apple could also release the iTV in early-2013 because countering Amazon, Google, Samsung and other vendors with the iPad mini could be its first order of the business.

Misek is also shooting for at least eight million iPad minis in the quarter.

Here’s an excerpt from Misek’s note:

Recent data out of Sharp, Hon Hai and other specialty chemical and TV component suppliers support this. We believe Apple will leverage AT&T‘s and Verizon’s content deals for the iTV.

As pointed out on Twitter (via 9to5Mac), Apple is looking to partner with carriers AT&T and Verizon Wireless to sell the $1499 iTV with a two-year AT&T UVerse or Verizon FiOS contract, with Apple getting “something like $2000 per TV”.

In addition to that premium Apple television deal, Apple could be looking to sell set-top-boxes for Comcast customers.

Earlier in the week, The Wall Street Journal caused quite a commotion with claim that the Apple TV could be used as a set-top box for cable TV operators, marking a major shift in Apple’s living room strategy with its $99 hockey puck device.

The New York Post asserted back in March that Apple failed to negotiate premium deals because content owners were wary of financial terms and how any deal with Apple might antagonize their existing relationships.

Last month, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook was spotted at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, reportedly lining up media moguls for a series of one-on-ones on premium content partnerships.

As for the next iPhone, Misek estimates Apple will have about 15 million iPhone 5 units built by mid-September, when Apple is expected to deliver what he described as “the biggest handset launch in history”.

Now, remember that Jefferies & Co. believes in the iTV so much that it in an April note to clients that Apple would start to manufacture in June/July what it referred to as the iPanel, an HD TV set that will be “so much more than a TV. It’s a display, gaming center, media hub, computer, home automator, etc.”, Misek wrote back then.

Is Misek smoking something or could Foxconn really be assembling iTVs as we speak, without a single parts leak of credible supply chain rumor preceding it?

Predictive Emoji Not Working On Iphone Or Ipad? 6 Ways To Fix It!

Emojis have become an integral part of our chatting, allowing us to express emotions and add a touch of personality to our messages. And iPhone users enjoy using emojis more thanks to the predictive emoji feature. Whenever you type, your keyboard suggests relevant emojis. Too convenient, right?  

But what if the keyboard isn’t showing emoji suggestions? In this blog, I will provide you with troubleshooting tips to fix predictive emoji not working issue on iPhone or iPad. 

1. Ensure you are using Apple Keyboard

You must use the Apple English keyboard to get the emoji suggestions. The feature is not available on all third-party keyboards or other language keyboards. To switch to the Apple keyboard:

Open Messages or any other app where you use the keyboard.  

If you chat in your native language, like French or Spanish, make sure to choose that default keyboard. If you write Pelota (which means ball in Spanish) on the English keyboard, the predictive emoji will not work.

2. Toggle off and on Prediction

Sometimes, restarting the predictive emoji feature can resolve temporary issues.  

Go to Settings → General → Keyboard. 

Wait for some time. Toggle on Predictive once again.

3. Feed your iPhone with emojis

I noticed that every time I started using a new iPhone or any new app, the keyboard stopped showing emoji suggestions. Furthermore, if you do not use emojis at all, the keyboard will not show emojis.

In essence, your iPhone uses your keyboarding patterns and writing style to train the predictive function and suggest the most relevant ones. Therefore, let your iPhone know that you like to use emojis while typing.  

Open an app where predictive emoji isn’t working. 

Tap the emoji icon on the keyboard. 

Delete all the emojis.

Force close the app → Reopen the app.

4. Reset your Keyboard dictionary

Resetting the keyboard dictionary can help fix any corrupt data or miscellaneous glitches that may be causing issues with predictive emoji.  

Select Reset Keyboard Dictionary → Enter your passcode. 

This action will wipe out your custom glossary. Post that, you will have to train your keyboard following the above-mentioned steps.

5. Delete and re-add Emoji Keyboard 

If none of the above solutions work, you can try resetting the emoji keyboard on your iPhone. 

Tap Edit → Select the minus sign (-) beside the Emoji keyboard.

6. Other general fixes

Apart from the specific steps mentioned above, you can also try these basic fixes if predictive emoji is not working on your iPhone.

Restart your iPhone: The first thing you must do when you notice emoji predictions are missing is restart your iPhone. It will resolve any temporary iOS glitches. 

FAQ

What is Predictive emoji on iPhone? 

As you type, Apple’s Predictive Emoji function will provide suggestions for various emoji to enter on the keyboard based on your keyboard patterns and writing style. Also, some common words like Hello, Congratulations, etc., will become orange. Tapping on it will immediately replace your text with the relevant emoji. 

No more missing emoji suggestions!

The predictive emoji feature on your iPhone can be a fun and convenient way to enhance your messages. However, if it stops working, it can be frustrating. By following the troubleshooting tips, I mentioned, you should be able to fix the issue and enjoy using predictive emoji once again.  

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Author Profile

Ava

Ava is an enthusiastic consumer tech writer coming from a technical background. She loves to explore and research new Apple products & accessories and help readers easily decode the tech. Along with studying, her weekend plan includes binge-watching anime.

Ipad Mini 6 Gets 8.3″ Display, Usb

During its pre-taped September 24 “California Streaming” product reveal, Apple unveiled a sixth-generation iPad mini with a new design and features like the removal of the Home button, improved cameras, a power button with an embedded Touch ID sensor and more.

Introducing the all-new iPad mini

Just like the rumors insistent, the new, sixth-generation iPad mini features an all-screen design that we first saw on the 2023 iPad Pro models. Apple’s engineers have managed to shrink those thick borders surrounding the display, so now the new iPad mini gives you 8.3 inches of screen real estate whilst keeping the same footprint as before.

By comparison, the previous iPad mini had a 7.9-inch Retina display (the new iPad mini uses Liquid Retina display technology). The tablet is also a bit thinner and a tad lighter than its predecessor.

iPad mini gets Touch ID power button

With an almost fullscreen design, Apple has relocated a Touch ID fingerprint sensor (as rumored). Rather than inside the Home button, Touch ID has been embedded into the device’s power button. Apple first tried this new Touch ID solution earlier in 2023 with the release of the fourth-generation iPad Air.

A significantly faster performance

Because it runs the latest Apple A15 Bionic chip that also powers the iPhone 13 family, the new iPad mini delivers faster performance across the board. CPU performance saw a forty percent jump, meaning your apps launch and run faster. If you’re big on gaming or creative apps like Photoshop, this new iPad mini won’t disappoint you with a whopping 80 percent faster graphics performance than the predecessor. You also get two times faster Neural engine which will ensure that AI-powered apps and system features run fluidly. This is the first time the iPad mini has gained Apple’s neural engine.

Better cameras across the board

The front and rear camera systems have seen some substantial upgrades. The back camera is now a twelve-megapixel sensor versus an eight-megapixel shooter in the previous model. You can now take twelve-megapixel images and shoot 4K video with this iPad. The updated sensor also supports Focus Pixels, giving this new iPad mini there ability to take photos in Portrait mode.

And to help you snap clearer images in the dark, the rear camera comes with a larger aperture to let more light in and supports True Tone flash, a feature that lights each LED light independently with varying intensity to adjust the color temperature accordingly.

The front-facing camera has seen a major upgrade, too. It now uses a twelve-megapixel sensor so all your selfies taken with it will look great. This is a wide-angle camera that also supports Center Stage, a feature Apple debuted on the recent iPad Pro models. It uses machine learning to dynamically crop and zoom the scene to follow subjects as they move around. And thanks to Apple’s own image signal processor, the new iPad mini supports the smart HDR feature. Smart HDR blends together several photos taken in rapid succession at different exposures to bring more highlight and shadow detail.

iPad mini adopts USB-C

The new iPad mini has ditched Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector for USB-C, an industry standard. This means you can now connect a much wider variety of accessories to the tablet over USB-C, like digital cameras, external storage and more (the new, updated budget iPad still uses Lightning). USB-C is also ten times faster than Lightning so large files will transfer to the device much faster than before.

Another tidbit worth mentioning: The new iPad mini provides stereo sound when used in landscape thanks to the speakers found at both the top and the bottom of the device. By way of comprising, the previous iPad mini had a single speaker.

5G connectivity and Appel Pencil 2 support

The new iPad mini supports fast 5G networking with both mmWave and sub-6GHz standards supported out of the box. Or, you can opt for a Wi0-Fi-only version if you don’t need cellular connectivity on a tablet. The new iPad mini works with the second-generation Apple Pencil stylus, which can be attached magnetically to the right side thanks to the built-in magnets.

Apple also created some new colors for its Smart Folio case to complement the new colors in which the iPad mini 6 is available. And because the tablet’s dimensions have stayed intact, all your old cases should work like magic.

Pricing and availability

The new iPad mini comes in an array of new colors: Purple, pink, starlight and space gray. Apple was kind enough to double the storage so the baseline model now offers 64 gigabytes of storage whereas its predecessor started at a paltry 32 gigabytes. The new iPad mini starts at $499 like the older model it’s replacing and is available to order starting today.

Apple has said that shipments will start next week.

For further information, read the iPad mini 6 press release published on Apple Newsroom.

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