iPhone 5s and 5c – Specs, UK Pricing & Availability

iPhone 5s and 5c – Specs, UK Pricing & Availability

iPhone 5s Blog ShotIn a special media event from its Cupertino campus that contained few surprises, Apple unveiled two models of the new version of the iPhone last night – the flagship iPhone 5s and the, it has to be said, only marginally cheaper iPhone 5c. Here’s a rundown of what was announced…

iPhone 5c
The entire back and sides of the new iPhone 5c is made from a single part of coloured hard polycarbonate plastic incorporating an internal steel structure, while the front is a single flat, multitouch 4-inch Retina display glass surface.
Inside, the 5c has an Apple A6 processor with a slightly larger and more efficient battery than the iPhone 5 that precedes it. It has an 8 megapixel iSight camera with backside illumination and a five-element lens, that uses iOS7’s new Camera app with its live photo filters and 3X video zoom capability. On the front, there’s a new FaceTime HD camera.
The 5c comes in five standard coloursblue, white, pink, yellow and green – and there’s a range of six complementary-coloured silicone rubber cases available to accessorize with for $29 USD each.

iPhone 5c prices (on a typical US 2-year contract) are:

16GB: $99 USD
32GB: $199 USD

The iPhone 5c will be available to pre-order in 9 countries (US, UK, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, & Singapore) from 13th September, and to purchase from 20th September.

In the UK, the iPhone 5c will cost £469 for the 16GB model and £549 for the 32GB model (non-contract).

iPhone 5s
Made from high-grade aluminium with diamond-cut, chamfered edges, the iPhone 5s difinitely looks the part of a flagship product. It comes in three metallic finishes: silver, gold, and a new ‘space grey’.
The 5s runs on Apple’s new proprietary A7 64-bit processor, making it the first ever 64-bit smartphone. This takes advantage of the fact that iOS7 and all its native apps have been completely re-engineered and optimised for 64-bit processing, while maintaining compatibilty with existing 32-bit apps, so the performance gains over the previous model should be significant. The A7 chip is apparently twice as fast as previous generations, with an impressive 40X increase in CPU performance over the first generation iPhone.
It runs OpenGL 3.0, enabling the iPhone 5s to run desktop level, 64-bit graphics.
The iPhone 5s contains an additional motion co-processor called M7 that handles all of the movement-based processing such as motion sensing, accelerometer, compass and gyroscope, continuously measuring the data coming from the phone’s numerous sensors without troubling the main processor, paving the way for a new generation of health and fitness apps.
So how does this impact battery life? Standby time is up to 250 hours, with 10 hours of WiFi browsing or 3G talk time. 40 hours of music and 10 hours of video claimed.
The iPhone 5s has a newly-designed, 8 megapixel camera system centering around a five-piece lens with a larger, f/2.2 aperture and a 15% larger active sensor area. White balance and exposure are set automatically, and a new ‘true tone’ flash aims to capture better skin tones when using flash. Auto image stabilization cuts down on blur when shooting with a longer exposure, and a 10 frames-per-second burst mode automatically selects and presents the best shot for you. A new 120fps HD slo-mo video camera is also now available for action shots, and panorama shots now benefit from automatic exposure adjustment as you pan the shot.
The iPhone 5s pioneers a new security technology that Apple are calling Touch ID, which centres around a fingerprint sensor on the home button that’s used in preference to the conventional four-digit passcode traditionally used to gain access to the device. A metal sensor ring around the button means you can just touch, not even fully press, the button to unlock your phone. You can teach it more than one print, so that if you sometimes use your thumb, rather than your index finger, to wake your phone, you shouldn’t run into difficulties through using the wrong finger. Under iOS7, you can also use the fingerprint sensor to authorize iTunes purchases.

You can accessorize the iPhone 5s with leather cases that are available in five colours – yellow, brown, pink, blue and black – at $39 USD each.

iPhone 5s prices (on a typical US 2-year contract) are:

16GB: $199 USD
32GB: $299 USD
64GB: $399 USD

In the UK, the iPhone 5s will cost £549 for the 16GB model, £629 for the 32GB model and £709 for the 64GB model (non-contract).

All the major UK carriersEE (Orange and T-Mobile), Vodafone, O2 and Three – have confirmed that they will be offering the phones on a contract basis, but contract prices have not yet been announced. The 8GB version of the iPhone 4s will also continue to be available free on contract.

The iPhone 5s will be available to purchase in 9 countries (US, UK, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, & Singapore) from 20th September.

Both the 5s and 5c will be available through the Apple Online Store, Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorised Resellers, including Phones 4U and Carphone Warehouse.

The new phones will, of course, ship with the newest version of Apple’s mobile operating system already installed, but iOS7 will also be available as a free download to users of existing iOS devices from September 18th. iOS7 is compatible with the iPhone 4 and upwards, iPad 2 and upwards, iPad Mini and 5th-generation iPod Touch.

From today, the iOS versions of Keynote, Pages and Numbers, Apple’s mobile presentation, word-processing and spreadsheet apps, will be free to new iOS device purchasers, along with iPhoto and iMovie for iOS, instantly turning your new device into a pretty powerful creative and productive tool for zero outlay. Nice touch!

Logic Pro X Unveiled

Logic Pro X Unveiled

Logic Pro XIt looks as if the wait is finally over – Apple today unveiled the hotly-anticipated Logic Pro X, updating the Logic line of digital audio workstation software for the first time in almost exactly four years. At first glance, it looks like the app has had a major interface overhaul, with newly-designed graphics for most of the plug-in control panels as well as the main arrange, mixer and edit windows. Track Stacks appears to be a new reimagination of the folders concept, while Flex Pitch (as opposed to Flex Time) allows for the fixing of dodgy vocal tuning and repitching of instrument melodies. Smart Controls, meanwhile, allow you to manipulate multiple plug-ins and parameters with a single move.
The new Drummer plug-in adds a virtual session drummer to your production toolbox, while you can create classic 70’s and 80’s style sounds with the new Retro Synth instrument. There are also nine new MIDI plug-ins, including a sophisticated arpeggiator. There’s no news yet as to whether or not the EXS24 sampler has received some much-needed attention.
There’s also a new Logic Remote iPad app, available for free on the App Store, that allows you to use an iPad as a control surface for Logic.
Logic Pro X is available to download now on the Mac App Store for £139.99 ($199.99 USD). The 650MB download requires OS X 10.8.4 or later and runs only in 64-bit mode, so make sure you have 64-bit versions of all your favourite third-party plug-ins installed. Here at daveclews.com, we can’t wait to try this, so watch this space for more Logic-related news soon!

Avid Announce Pro Tools 11 at NAB 2013

Avid Announce Pro Tools 11 at NAB 2013

Pro Tools 11

One of the most exciting news items to come out of the NAB show in Las Vegas this week has been Avid’s announcement of the all-new Pro Tools 11. A completely rewritten, 64-bit application with all-new code and a brand new Avid Audio Engine (bye, DAE!) under the bonnet, this audio and music production, editing and mixing powerhouse takes things up to the next level, with the promise of more processing power, more tracks, more virtual instruments, more complex instruments – just more, basically. The 64-bit architecture promises better memory management, with the ability to address as much RAM as your computer can hold, and all-round much slicker performance, particularly in complex sessions with lots of virtual instruments and effects. But, apart from being 64-bit from the ground up, what else is new? Has someone at Avid been listening? Has all the stuff that’s driven us PT users nuts for years finally been addressed? Here’s a closer look at some of the new bits and pieces to be found in Pro Tools 11.

Offline Bouncing
Offline bouncing is here at last, which will have many users literally jumping for joy. The days of watching the progress bar crawl across the screen as the computer wrestles with a real-time bounce of a complex orchestral mix or an hour-long podcast, (only to throw up an error at the last minute, requiring the whole process to be started again through a blurry veil of frustrated tears) are finally drawing to a close. Offline bouncing promises to deliver mixes at speeds up to 150 times faster, which means an hour-long program could be rendered in under one minute. This is sample-accurate offline bouncing to boot, so you always know exactly what you’ll end up with. Stem creation looks like it’s about to get a lot less painful, and it looks likely to be useful as a track freeze function too, a quick way of lightening the CPU load caused by memory-hogging virtual instrument tracks. You can also bounce a .WAV and a .mp3 version simultaneously in PT11.

Timing Tweaks
Elsewhere, Avid have sought to stamp out latency issues by implementing both an input and an output buffer, so that  delays introduced by complex processes can be compensated for at the output stage. This all happens transparently, so that by the time it reaches your ears, everything should be in perfect time. To reduce monitor latency when recording, PT 11 has domain latency switching which allows for input-enabled virtual instrument and record channels to employ a super-low, 32-sample buffer while playback tracks operate at whatever your current system buffer settings are. Clever!
Time-stamped plugin parameter automation means that now every automation move will happen exactly when it’s supposed to, rather than a few frames either side of the intended position, which can apparently happen with some current systems when a bounce is rendered.

From Meter You
Pro Tools 11 introduces a batch of new metering systems for Pro Tools HD users – a total of 17 industry-standard metering options are available in the top-end version of the software, including standard VU metering, BBC and Nordic PPM metering, and even Bob Katz’ K System. The master track meters can have their format set independently from the rest of the Mix window, and mini meters now appear on the plugin slots in the Sends view. You’ll also now find a configurable gain reduction meter for dynamics plugins on each channel in the HD version. The channel meters themselves are much higher resolution and also 30% taller than those in PT10.

Video Star
Video handling is also much improved, with Pro Tools 11 adopting the same video engine as that found in its sister app Media Composer, which was also updated this week. You can now monitor and even edit HD video directly within your Pro Tools sessions. You can add a variety of broadcast level formats (XD Cam, MXF HD, Avid DNxHD) directly to your session without transcoding, which is a real timesaver. There’s also improved support for a much wider range of video interfaces than before, including equipment from AJA and Black Magic.

Bits n Bobs
There’s a host of other tweaks and enhancements alongside the big guns. Dynamic Host Processing cleverly reallocates processor resources away from tracks when there’s nothing playing on them. There’s an updated workspace browser with a faster, improved search feature, and you can now input automation data whilst recording – great for recording live sound. This automation data can also be converted to clip gain when mixing a project.
There’s a set of new, single-handed shortcuts for bypassing inserts – great for quick before / after comparisons of channel strips with long plugin chains. You can bypass all inserts with one keystroke (Shift +A), or use different commands to bypass by placement or category. Graphically, the system now supports Apple’s Retina displays and there have been some visual tweaks to the Mix window.

Notably, PT11 only supports the AAX plugin format – RTAS & TDM plugins are no longer supported from this version onwards because they are all 32-bit code. PT11 is all 64-bit code, so older plugins may need to be sacrificed for the sake of progress, at least until AAX upgrades of those plugins become available. A tough call for UAD users. Interestingly, you can run both PT10 & PT11 on the same machine, which offers a temporary workaround to bridge the transition, but if you’re a Mac Pro user, that machine has to be newer than the March 2009 (Mac Pro 4,1) model. Pro Tools 11 requires OS X 10.8.3 or newer, and an iLok2 USB dongle is required for copy protection.

So, no new plugins or instruments then, but rather a completely overhauled application that promises to provide a smoother and faster workflow, as long as you can take the ‘no RTAS’ hit. Pro Tools 11 is expected to ship in May / June 2013, but anyone who purchases and registers a copy of PT10 between 7th April and the release date will receive a free upgrade to 11 when it ships.

Pricing will be as follows:

Pro Tools 11 software (full version)— $699 USD
Pro Tools 10 to 11 upgrade— $299 USD
Pro Tools 9 to 11 upgrade— $399 USD
Pro Tools Express to Pro Tools 11 cross grade— $499 USD
Pro Tools HD 10 to 11 upgrade— $599 USD
Pro Tools HD 9 to 11 upgrade— $999 USD

For more information, see http://apps.avid.com/protools11

Apple Unveils New iPods & New iTunes

Apple Unveils New iPods & New iTunes

Alongside the announcement yesterday of the iPhone 5, Apple also revealed a refreshed iPod lineup, together with new versions of the iconic iTunes software for both iOS 6 and OS X. The iOS 6 variant of the app has been completely redesigned, with improved performance and a different layout that allows you to preview while browsing. The desktop version also gets a makeover, due late October, that will feature a dramatically simplified, grid-based user interface, with easier playlist management and DJ-friendly ‘Coming Next’ feature. There’s also iCloud integration for remembering movie positions between devices, so you can start watching a film on your Mac or Apple TV and pick up later where you left off on your iPhone or iPad.

iPod Nano
The new, 7th generation iPod Nano is 38% thinner than its predecessor at just 5.4mm thick. It resembles a miniature iPod Touch, with a home button and 2.5″ multitouch display dominating Continue reading

iPhone 5 Breaks Cover

iPhone 5 Breaks Cover

Apple announced the long-awaited iPhone 5 at its media event at the Yerba Buena centre in San Francisco earlier today. With a case made entirely of glass and aluminium, the new iPhone is lighter and 18% thinner than before, measuring just 7.6mm thick. Touted as the world’s thinnest smartphone, it weighs in at just 112 grams, 20% lighter than the iPhone 4S. Its 4″ Retina display has an 1136 x 640 pixel resolution, which gives the screen room for an extra row of app icons at the top. All the factory apps have been optimized to show more stuff on the taller screen, including the iLife and iWork apps, while non-optimised apps run letterboxed, ie with black borders either side. There’s 44% more colour saturation, and the fact that the screen is taller whilst remaining the same width as before takes the screen closer to a 16:9 aspect ratio for better widescreen movie viewing.

There’s ultrafast wireless connectivity with LTE, which has a theoretical maximum of 100MBps, Continue reading