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Along with unveiling new hardware today, Apple has announced many changes to iOS and iTunes. The latest version of iOS makes better use of iPhone 5 and iPod touch's new 4-inch 1136x640 display, with many core apps having already been updated. For instance, Safari now has a full screen option, Calendar now shows more events and the home screen has a fifth row of icons.
In addition to real estate-oriented changes, the Maps app now includes a built-in search engine for point of interest, turn-by-turn directions that work whether the device is in landscape or portrait, and a 3D mode takes you on a flyover of 3D models rendered from actual pictures. Photo Stream has simplified the process of sharing pictures, Siri has more movie-related data, Mail has a VIP folder for storing flagged messages, and the Phone app can now automatically send an SMS when you can't answer a call.
Apple's desktop iTunes application has been revamped with mobile-like changes, including an edge-to-edge interface that seamlessly links the store, books, music and videos into one uniform appearance. Every entry in iTunes now has a Facebook Like button, and iCloud is now completely integrated. Clicking on an album expands it in place, much like the way folders work with iOS, and you can preview songs while browsing the store.
Apple has also tweaked the window that displays what's currently playing by adding a drop-down box containing information of upcoming tracks and the new iTunes also features a mini player that provides basic controls in a compact, minimalist interface. The iTunes update will be available in October and iOS 6 will be available as a free download for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPad 3 and the fourth-gen iPod touch on September 19.
The iPhone 4S looks identical to last year's model but comes in a new 64GB flavor and upgrades the camera to include an 8-megapixel sensor with improved low-light performance and 1080p video capture. In terms of performance the new iPhone is reportedly up to 2x faster and is also capable of running on faster HSPA+ networks, reaching theoretical download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps.
The Apple iPad (3rd-gen) includes a Retina Display operating at a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536. Powering the new iPad is a dual-core A5X processor with quad-core graphics, it also gets upgraded optics in the form of a 5MP backside illuminated sensor that features a 5-element lens, IR filter and ISP built into the A5X chip. Apple claims The new iPad is good for 10 hours of battery life and nine hours when using 4G LTE.
The iPad 2 improves on the original in many ways, including a significantly faster dual-core CPU, improved graphics and a thinner footprint. The iPad 2 also manages to shave off 0.2 pounds for a total weight of 1.33 pounds on the Wi-Fi only model. Apple has included two cameras on the iPad 2 – a VGA-quality front facing lens for FaceTime and a rear-facing camera capable of recording 720p video.
The Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display is equipped with a third generation Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 2.3GHz, 8GB of DDR3L 1600MHz RAM, 256GB of flash storage, Intel HD 4000 Graphics, a discrete Nvidia GeForce GT 650M GPU with 1GB of GDDR5 memory and a built-in FaceTime HD camera. It sports a SDXC card reader, HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, MagSafe 2 power connector and a dual Thunderbolt ports.
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