This season is supposed to be about more than scoring the best deal. Peace on Earth, goodwill toward all, anyone? So we’re not playing that game. First, we’re not going to be open on Thanksgiving Day. That’s so unfair to our employees and their families. Second, we’ll be opening at our regular time, 9am, on Friday morning. And third, we aren’t going to make you surrender your dignity by waiting in long lines for a limited supply of…something or other. Sure, we’ll have some great stuff on sale, but we’ll be offering them all weekend long (11/25 – 11/27/16). And if we run out, we’ll offer you a raincheck. So hit those other places first, then stop by Connecting Point to decompress. The music will be soft, the cookies sweet, the beverages refreshing.
We invite you to come on in! We’ve got some pretty great offers and gift ideas waiting. Click here to discover more…
THIS WEEK: Actiontec ScreenBeam Pro Business Edition $39.99 (reg. $199.99)
The First and Only Gen 5 Intel Pro WiDi Certified Wireless Display Receiver Available Today! Specifically designed for business environments, ScreenBeam Pro Business Edition allows compatible mobile devices to wirelessly display any content on a TV or projector within seconds. Share whatever is on your mobile device (presentations, documents, spreadsheets, videos, websites, apps, photos, etc.) with everyone else in the room. And ScreenBeam Pro Business Edition supports all the key manageability and security features that IT departments need.
As this week’s DOTW, we’ve slashed the price from $199.99 to an insanely low $39.99.
UPDATE FRIDAY, AUGUST 19TH, 3:15 PM: Sorry, we are SOLD OUT of this week’s DOTW.
- Video: H.264 compression with up to full 1080p30 resolution
- Audio: LPCM and AAC formats, with support for 5.1 surround sound
- A/V Interface: HDMI Type-A female connector (optional VGA adapter sold separately)
- Wireless: 802.11 a/b/g/n Dual-band 2.4 & 5GHz; WPA2, WPS virtual PBC, AES 128-bit
- Content Protection: HDCP 2.x for HDMI
- Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 operating system
- 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i3/i5/i7 Mobile and Desktop Processor or later
- Intel® HD Graphics or Intel® Iris™ Graphics, with version 15.36.x.x driver or later
- Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160, Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260, Intel® Dual Band Wireless-N 7260, Intel® Wireless-N 7260, Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265, or Intel® Dual Band Wireless-N 7265 wireless adapter, with version 17.13.x.x driver or later
This offer runs from Friday, August 19th through Thursday, August 25th, 2016, or while supplies last. Sorry, no rain checks.
At a special event in Cupertino this week, Apple unveiled the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and the 4-inch iPhone SE, while also rolling out free updates to all four of its operating systems. The new iPad and iPhone offer most of the functionality of the current iPad and iPhone models without being so large. On the software side, the updates to iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 add significant features, whereas OS X 10.11.4 and watchOS 2.2 mostly fix bugs.
Many people have found last year’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro with its optional Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard useful as a productivity machine, but for others, it’s too ungainly to hold or too expensive. That was the impetus behind the just-announced 9.7-inch iPad Pro, which meets or exceeds many of the larger model’s specs.
For instance, the smaller model’s screen can display more colors and adjusts its white balance to match the ambient light in the room. Its cameras are notably better — the rear camera is 12 megapixels instead of 8 and has a True Tone flash, while the front camera is 5 megapixels instead of 1.2 and can use the screen as a flash. Plus, the new iPad Pro can record 4K video instead of just 1080p.
On the downside, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro’s A9X chip is somewhat slower, it has half the RAM, and its Lightning port transfers data at only USB 2 speeds. But if the size is right for you, prices start at $599 for 32 GB of storage and go up to $899 for 256 GB. It will be available in April in four colors: silver, gold, space gray, and rose gold. Cases and accessories designed to fit the iPad Air should work with the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.
Speaking of accessories, Apple has a new Smart Keyboard sized for the new iPad Pro, and the Apple Pencil works perfectly with it. There’s also a new Lightning to USB Camera Adapter that’s useful not just for syncing cameras but also for using USB peripherals like Ethernet adapters, audio interfaces, card readers, and microphones.
With the iPhone SE, Apple is trying to meet the needs of customers for whom the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are too large. The iPhone SE returns to the iPhone 5 form factor, with a 4-inch screen and aluminum case. Otherwise, its specs are nearly identical to those of the iPhone 6s, with comparable performance. It fails to match up to the current iPhone lineup only in the lack of the 3D Touch technology, the Taptic Engine that provides feedback you can feel, and slower wireless networking. It’s either $399 or $499, with 16 GB or 64 GB of storage, and comes in the usual four colors. Cases and stands for the iPhone 5 should work with the iPhone SE.
Apple took the opportunity to release free updates to all its software platforms too. iOS 9.3 was the most significant, providing Wi-Fi calling for Verizon Wireless customers, improving sharing of Live Photos, adding two-factor authentication for all iCloud accounts, and more. The marquee addition is Night Shift, which adjusts the color temperature of your screen at night, reducing the amount of blue light emitted to make it easier to fall asleep.
iOS apps that received welcome updates include Notes, which can now password-protect notes and import from Evernote, and iBooks, which can now sync PDFs to other devices via iCloud. The Podcasts app can show full-screen video again, Wallet works better with reward cards, Maps has enhanced public transit info, and News boasts a better For You section along with a Top Stories category.
For those with a fourth-generation Apple TV, tvOS 9.2 is a big deal, with better scrubbing through video with the Siri Remote, new Home screen folders, a redesigned app switcher to match iOS, Bluetooth keyboard support, text input via dictation, and initial support for both iCloud Photo Library and Live Photos.
OS X 10.11.4 El Capitan and watchOS 2.2 offer mostly bug and security fixes, although OS X’s Notes and iBooks apps received the same improvements as the iOS versions, and sharing of Live Photos works better as well.
All these operating system updates are free, but it’s worth waiting a few days to make sure early adopters don’t suffer any ill effects. As always, if you’re concerned about updating your hardware, come in and talk to us!
AVAILABILITY: iPad Pro 9.7-inch is available to ORDER NOW. (Shipments will begin next month.)
Color photos, descriptions, and prices on the entire family of great Apple products: Mac, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, and more. Zero in on your holiday gift options with the help of this handy reference.
Just click the above photo or here to begin your download. (It’s in PDF form.)
If you’d prefer a hard copy, you may just drop by our store and grab one.
Instead of wading through the vast seas of press and tech coverage for this morning’s Apple event in San Francisco, here’s the “Too Long; Didn’t Read” condensed version:
- Announced new version of OS for its watches, WatchOS 2, available September 16th
- WatchOS 2 gives third party developers access to watch’s sensors, the Digital Crown, microphone, and Taptic engine, along with the ability to build more complex animations
- Announced new Apple Watch models, including those as a result of a partnership with Hermes, and new gold-and-rose and gold-and-anodized-aluminum finishes
- Now over 10,000 apps for Apple Watch
Apple iPad family
- Announced iPad Pro, a much larger tablet with a 12.9-inch, 2732×2048 Retina display
- First availability won’t be until sometime in November
- iPad Pro comes with new A9X 64-bit processor, claimed to have twice the memory bandwidth and storage performance of previous A8 processor, and to run 22X faster than the original first-gen iPad
- Graphics performance also drastically improved
- iPad Pro comes with a four-speaker audio system that automatically adjusts to screen orientation from portrait to landscape
- Announced new magnetic Smart Keyboard (doubles as a cover) for $169
- Smart Keyboard doesn’t use Bluetooth, but connects via new magnetic triple port on iPad Pro
- Announced new Apple Pencil pressure-sensitive stylus for $99
- iPad Pro available in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray finishes
- Wi-Fi-only 32GB iPad Pro is $799; 128GB is $949
- Only the 128GB iPad Pro will be available with cellular, for $1079
- Other iPad models shift price points around. Entry level is now the iPad mini 2 16GB for $279.
- Totally new fourth-gen box and set of features, with a 32GB model for $149 and 64GB model for $199
- Original third-gen Apple TV will remain available, and still sell for $69
- Only availability information for new Apple TV is “coming soon”
- Much faster A8 processor
- New remote has a glass multi-touch surface, volume control, and microphone for access to Siri
- Siri allows voice command of menus, pop-up overlays, video navigation, movie and TV program selection (including suggestions), and much more
- Remote also has motion sensitivity and a gyroscope to allow Wii-like control over games and other functions
- Apple TV now has Bluetooth 4.0 and 801.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO
- Onscreen menu now offers access to the App Store
- Debut of TV OS, an iOS-based operating system that is supposed to make things a lot easier for developers
Apple iPhone family
- Apple announced two new phones: the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6S Plus. Physically, they look practically identical to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
- But the new models’ screens come with a tougher “dual ion-exchange” glass
- The new phones also feature pressure-sensitive touchscreens that work like the new Force Touch trackpad on the most recent MacBooks. Apple calls this “3D Touch.”
- Both cameras have been improved, along with their flash technology
- The back-facing iSight camera now captures 12 megapixels, and can record 4K video
- The front-facing FaceTime HD camera now captures 5 megapixels
- Rose Gold joins the previously available three finishes (Silver, Gold, and Space Gray)
- A Live Photo feature has also been added, which automatically captures a few seconds of video and sound around still photos. Push firmly on a photo, and it plays the video.
- Prices start at $199 for the 6S and $299 for the 6s Plus, with contract, for 16GB models
- Jumping to a 64GB model adds $100, and to a 128GB model adds another $200
- For teh first time, Apple offers off-contract pricing starting at $649 and $749, again for the 16GB models of the 6S and 6S Plus.
- The new iPhones may be pre-ordered on September 12, and are slated to begin delivery September 25th
- The next major upgrade to iOS, version 9, will be available next Wednesday (September 16th). Any device currently running iOS 8 will be able to upgrade to the new version.
Apple’s 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) launches with a keynote this morning. Expect big announcements about the next versions of OS X and iOS, along with developer-centric news about the Swift programming language and a Software Development Kit (SDK) for the Apple Watch. You can read some educated guesses about additional announcements over on Ars Technica.
If you’d like to experience each technological bombshell as it lands, Apple will be broadcasting the keynote live on their site – but you’ll only be able to watch it in their Safari browser, running on either a Mac or an iOS device, or on a 2nd-generation or later Apple TV.
In addition, a number of tech and business sites will be liveblogging the event: