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!

Novation To Unveil Launchkey Controller Range at NAMM 2013

Novation To Unveil Launchkey Controller Range at NAMM 2013

49-Launchkey-Hero 500Novation will use NAMM 2013 as a platform for taking the wraps off a slinky new range of DAW controller keyboards. Available in 25, 49 and 61-note varieties, the Launchkey series forms a compelling lineup, each consisting of a professional MIDI keyboard boasting 16 velocity-sensitive, multi-colour clip launch / drum pads, bundled with Ableton Live Lite 8, Novation Bass Station and V-Station software synths and a pack of Loopmasters samples. Hardware controls include nine faders (one fader on the 25-key model), eight mute/solo buttons, eight rotary knobs, a 3-digit LED and a dedicated DAW transport controller section.
Compatible right out of the box with all major DAW’s such as Logic, Live, Cubase, ProTools and FL Studio thanks to Novation’s new InControl integration system, the keyboards are bus-powered via your computer’s USB socket, or from an iPad by means of the optional iPad Camera Connection Kit, available for around £25 from Apple.
Each package also includes two new iPad apps, designed to work in conjunction with the keyboards. The Launchkey app is an iPad 2 & upwards-compatible performance synth, while the Launchpad app delivers drag-and-drop loop playback from the pads and real-time filter and stutter effects.

Prices are:
Launchkey 25: £99.99
LaunchKey 49: £139.99
LaunchKey 61: £159.99

The Novation Launchkey keyboards are slated to become available in the UK from March/April onwards.

Apple Take Excitement to the Macs – New Ivy Bridge iMacs, Mac Mini, 13” Retina MacBook Pro

Apple Take Excitement to the Macs – New Ivy Bridge iMacs, Mac Mini, 13” Retina MacBook Pro

Apple have unveiled a slew of new and updated products in a special media event in San Francisco. Aside from the iPad Mini and 4th-generation iPad discussed in an earlier post, most notable among the new arrivals was the new 13” Retina MacBook Pro, while the hotly-anticipated Ivy Bridge iMacs and an upgraded Mac Mini also made their debuts today. Here’s a brief rundown of what was in store.

MacBook Pro
The incredibly thin new 13” Retina MacBook Pro is now just 0.75” thick and weighs just 3.5 pounds20% thinner and 1 pound lighter than before. As with the 15” Retina model, there’s no longer room for an optical drive, but at a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels – four times the number of the previous generation MBP – that Retina display with 75% reduced reflection and 178 degree viewing angle makes up for a lot. Also now sporting an HDMI out and flash storage capacity of up to 768GB, the 13” Retina MacBook Pro starts from £1449 for the base 2.5GHz dual-core i5 128GB model, rising to £1699 for the 256GB version. The new 13-incher is available from today, but for those not bothered about the Retina display, the current non-Retina models are still available at the same price as before.

The new iMac closely resembles its predecessor, at least from the front, retaining as it does the much-maligned ‘chin’ beneath the display. However, the display glass now runs all the way to the edge, and from the rear, it’s a totally different shape, a bulge at the centre of the back panel gradually tapering to a 5mm thickness at the edge where it meets the display. It looks stunning in the images, and promises to be even more so in the metal. The display is fully laminated to the glass, dispensing with the 2mm air gap that formed part of the construction of the previous model. This astonishing 80% reduction in thickness means that the vertical optical drive has finally bitten the dust, as it has in the Retina laptops.
Following much speculation that the new iMac would have a Retina display, consumers may or may not be disappointed with the standard, non-Retina LED displays that the new models sport. However, with IPS technology for a wide viewing angle and a special anti-reflective coating that’s 75% less reflective than before, they should still be pretty impressive. The 21.5” model offers the same 1920 x 1080 resolution as before, as does the 27” with its 2560 x 1440 spec. A 720p Facetime HD camera, dual microphones, stereo speakers, NVIDIA Kepler graphics and 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi round out the specifications.
You can get the new iMac configured with either a 1TB or 3TB HDD or up to 768GB of flash SSD storage, but a third option is to go for Apple’s new Fusion Drive, which is essentially similar to a hybrid drive such as Seagate’s Momentus XT. A combination of a 128GB SSD and a 1 or 3TB HDD, this comes pre-configured with Mountain Lion and all Apple’s native apps on the flash partition, leaving you ample room for storage on the HD partition. This promises lightning-fast performance from the apps you use most day-to-day, coupled with the kind of storage capacity not yet achievable via an SSD alone. It’ll be interesting to see how much this sets you back as a CTO option.

Bundled, as before, with Apple’s wireless keyboard and magic mouse, the new 21.5” iMac will start at £1099 for the base 2.7GHz i5 1TB 8GB model when it ships in November, rising to £1249 for the 2.9GHz model. The base 27” 2.9GHz i5 1TB 8GB will be available in December for £1499, with the 3.2GHz i5 1TB 8GB version coming out at £1699. Quad-core i7 processors will be available as a CTO option on the higher-priced 21.5 and 27” versions.

Mac Mini
The smallest, most affordable Mac also gets a much-needed Ivy Bridge refresh, starting at £499 for the 2.5GHz dual-core i5 version, rising to £679 for the 2.3GHz quad-core i7 model. There’s also a server version available with twin 1TB hard drives for £849. All models ship with 4GB RAM and Intel HD Graphics 4000.

Apple expands iPad range with iPad Mini and 4th-generation iPad

Apple expands iPad range with iPad Mini and 4th-generation iPad

Apple have introduced the eagerly-awaited iPad Mini to its iPad product lineup, together with a revamped version of the full-size model that takes advantage of a faster processor and the new Lightning dock connector. With a diagonal screen dimension of 7.9 inches, the iPad Mini is an entirely new design, at just 7.2mm thick – 23% thinner than the revamped, 4th-generation iPad – and weighing a mere 0.68lbs – 53% lighter than the full size model. Maintaining the original iPad’s 1024 x 768 screen resolution and aspect ratio guarantees that all current iPad apps will work on the smaller device without any extra effort necessary from developers to release compatible versions of their apps.

The dinky new device has at its heart a dual-core A5 chip and boasts both a 720p Facetime HD front camera and a 5MP rear iSight camera. Featuring LTE cellular capability, 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi and a touted 10-hour battery life, the iPad Mini will ship in black or white trim and will be available to pre-order from October 26th. WiFi models are expected to start shipping on November 2nd, with cellular models shipping 2 weeks later.
Prices start at £269 for the 16GB WiFi model, rising to £429 for the 64GB WiFi model. Cellular models will start at £369 for the 16GB, topping out at £529 for the 64GB. There’s also a range of bespoke smart covers, available in a choice of five colours (plus a product RED version), to make the teeny iPad even more dapper.

The new, 4th generation full-size iPad sports a speedy new A6X processor for double the CPU and graphics performance of its predecessor, together with the new Lightning dock connector as found on the iPhone 5. Prices for these start at £399 for the 16GB WiFi model, rising to £559 for the 64GB WiFi model. Cellular models will start at £499 for the 16GB, topping out at £659 for the 64GB.

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

Avid Launch ProTools HD Native Thunderbolt Interface – but who for?

Avid Launch ProTools HD Native Thunderbolt Interface – but who for?

Avid, creators of the legendary Pro Tools audio recording, editing and mixing system, last week furthered their quest to eliminate the inherent latency of typical USB and FireWire audio interfaces by announcing a pair of new Pro Tools HD Native interfaces that take advantage of the ultra high-speed Thunderbolt connection standard found on the current crop of computers.
Don’t get too excited though, because even if you were able to purchase one of the new Thunderbolt interfaces, which come in either desktop box or PCIe core card format, as a single item, you’d still need to purchase an additional Pro Tools HD I/O audio interface to hook it up to. As it is, you can only buy them as part of a bundle – the new ‘interfaces’ do not have any audio in or out connections themselves, they’re just bridging devices, a means of utilising the speed of the data throughput of the Thunderbolt port on current computers, in preference to latency-prone USB and FireWire ports. This means that the price of the cheapest available bundle, consisting of Thunderbolt interface, Pro Tools 10 software and compatible HD OMNI audio interface, comes out at a whopping $4999USD (around £3300GBP).

UK Pricing:

Pro Tools|HD Native + HD OMNI System £3,299.00 (£3,958.80 inc. VAT)
Pro Tools|HD Native + HD I/O 8x8x8 System £3,999.00 (£4,798.80 inc. VAT)
Pro Tools|HD Native + HD I/O 16×16 Analog System £4,599.00 (£5,518.80inc. VAT)
Pro Tools|HD Native + HD MADI System £4,599.00 (£5,518.80 inc. VAT)
Mbox Family / 00x to HD|Native + HD OMNI Exchange £2,599.00 (£3,118.80 inc. VAT)

For the moment at least, Avid are not offering the unit on its own to accommodate the needs of Continue reading

IK Multimedia Announce iRig KEYS Keyboard Controller for Mac, iPhone & iPad

IK Multimedia Announce iRig KEYS Keyboard Controller for Mac, iPhone & iPad

Just when you think they couldn’t possibly dream up any more iOS-compatible musical accessories, IK Multimedia come up with yet another in their long line of i-Prefixed goodies. This time it’s iRig KEYS, announced yesterday.
A slim, 3-octave controller keyboard for iPhone, iPad and Mac featuring 37 velocity-sensitive mini keys, proper pitch bend and mod wheels and a sustain pedal input, iRig KEYS allows connection directly to the iPhone or iPad’s 30-pin connector, obviating the need for Apple’s Camera Connection Kit accessory required by regular USB controller keyboards.
iRig KEYS is Core MIDI and USB class compliant for a true plug-and-play experience both with iOS devices or Mac/PC, so no additional app, software or drivers need to be installed to get it up and running. When hooked up to an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, it can be powered by the device for total portability. For longer playing sessions it can be powered by the available USB port, which also powers the unit when connected to a Mac or PC.
The device works either with the included app and software or with a multitude of other MIDI-compatible DAW apps on any iOS, MacOS or Windows system. As a bonus, the package includes SampleTank Free for iOS, or SampleTank 2 L for Mac & PC, which includes over 2GB of sampled sounds. When it hits the dealers’ shelves this Autumn, iRig KEYS will be available for €74.99 (around £60 GBP).

More info available from www.irigkeys.com

Editors Keys SL300 USB Mic Review

After my recent disappointing experiences with faulty Blue Snowball iCE and M-Audio Producer USB mics, I found myself in a bit of a tight spot the other week, when I needed to make some audio examples to accompany a vocal recording article. Having returned both the faulty mics to the retailers on the Friday and with the copy deadline for the article on the following Tuesday, I needed a replacement mic, and fast!

A quick Google search for ‘best USB mic under £150’ returned a swathe of glowing reports and reviews about a mic I’d never heard of before – the Editors Keys SL300 Studio Series USB Condenser Mic. Looking exactly like a scaled-down Neumann U87, it came with shockmount, carrying case and USB cable for £98 inc VAT. Suitably impressed, I rang the UK distributor, Inta Audio of Coventry, at 4.30pm to see Continue reading

New iPad / iPad 3 – UK Prices

Just a quick update to yesterday’s new iPad announcement. Official UK prices for the new iPad are as shown in the image, starting at £399 for the base 16GB WiFi-only model and rising to £659 for the top-of-the-range 64GB WiFi + 4G version. Details of data plans for the 4G models, and their associated costs, can be found at http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/home/shop_ipad/family/ipad/select_ipad