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Everything you need to know about today’s new iPads

Photo: Apple

Photo: Apple

Today Apple announced two new iPads: the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. Some pricing adjustments were also made across the entire iPad lineup, with the first-gen iPad mini now costing only $249.

Apple news overload? Fear not. Here’s everything you need to know about today’s new iPads:

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Liveblog: Get fixated on Apple’s new iPads with Cult of Mac

Tim Cook shows off the growing family of Apple products. Photo: Apple

Tim Cook shows off the growing family of Apple products. Photo: Apple

It’s been way too long since Apple showered us with new products like the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and Apple Watch, but Tim Cook and his crew are ready to go in for round two at a town hall keynote today at Apple HQ. New iPads, a Retina iMac and OS X Yosemite are rumored to be on the menu, but will Apple have one more surprise waiting for us?

Apple’s holiday lineup will be revealed in just a few short hours, and we’ll be here liveblogging all the details as the event unfolds. So bookmark this page, and come back at 10 a.m. Pacific for what will most likely be Apple’s last major announcements of 2014.

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Why HBO’s web-only subscription is great news for Apple TV

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Photo: Apple

The death of cable TV bundling is nearly upon us, as signaled by HBO’s announcement today that it will offer an internet-based streaming subscription in 2015.

“That is a large and growing opportunity that should no longer be left untapped,” said HBO CEO and chairman Richard Plepler. “It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO.”

That’s big news in an industry that has been incredibly resistant to disruptors like Apple. And the Apple TV specifically stands to gain immensely from this shift towards Hollywood finally selling premium content unbundled.

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Apple leaks new iPad details in iOS 8.1 user guide

This will probably be what the iPad Air 2 looks like.

This will probably be what the iPad Air 2 looks like.

Apple’s unveiling of its new iPad lineup is set to take place in less than 24 hours, but someone at Apple HQ just accidentally leaked some of the biggest details, including the names of Apple’s newest tablets.

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Check out this amazing ‘working’ iPhone in Minecraft

Photo:

Photo: SHUFFLE/YouTube

In a game where you can build anything you want, it was only going to be so long before someone constructed an iPhone in Minecraft.

Even with that said, however, the version of Apple’s iconic handset which one player put together is impressive; being not just a block-based reconstruction of the iPhone’s outward appearance — but a slavish recreation of the iPhone UX, complete with iOS apps.

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What to expect from tomorrow’s Apple event

oct event invite

Until September, 2014 was a pretty quiet year for new Apple products. But the drought is over.

After announcing new iPhones and the Apple Watch last month, another media event is being held October 16th at Apple’s Town Hall auditorium on its Cupertino campus. “It’s been way too long,” joked Apple in its invitation to select members of the press. For those itching to see new iPad and Mac hardware, indeed.

While Town Hall is only a fraction of The Flint Center’s size, October 16th’s event shouldn’t be viewed as any less important. iPad sales are stagnant, and Apple’s desktop displays have been needing an upgrade for years. Apple Pay, an entirely new venture for the company, is expected to come out any day now. And then there’s always the chance that Apple still has at least one surprise up its sleeve.

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The YouTube musician who made Steve Jobs dance with glee

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Jonathan Mann turns his fascination with Apple into catchy pop songs. Photo: Funcrunch Photo/Flickr

Steve Jobs wasn’t in the habit of dancing at Apple events. But in 2010, prior to a press conference where he addressed concerns about the new iPhone’s antenna, a song lampooning the controversy got Jobs dancing in the wings before he faced off with journalists.

The song in question, which played on a big screen to kick off the event, was the work of YouTube musician and Apple fan Jonathan Mann, who has spent the past five years composing a new song each day and posting it online.

“I heard later on from an Apple PR person that Steve Jobs was bopping along in the wings as the song was playing” at the Antennagate press conference, says Mann, speaking with Cult of Mac. “It was a surreal moment in my life.”

Antennagate went away, but Mann became the go-to guy for jingles about all things Cupertino. To date he has written 38 songs about Apple, touching  on everything from Craig Federighi’s WWDC performance to the unveiling of the Apple Watch. His clever ideas and quick turnaround times have turned him into YouTube’s premier Apple songsmith.

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The Macworld Expo conference is no more

Steve Jobs presenting at Macworld in 2008. Photo: Dan Farber/ Flickr CC

Steve Jobs presenting at Macworld in 2008. Photo: Dan Farber/ Flickr CC

Macworld Expo, the conference where Steve Jobs unveiled products like the original iPhone and MacBook Air, is no more. After closing Macworld magazine and laying off much of its staff, parent company IDG has announced that 2015’s Macworld/iWorld Expo has been cancelled.

The MacIT conference for enterprise professionals will still take place next year, but Macworld itself has been put on “hiatus.”

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What if the new iPads were as pretty as the iPhone 6?

Photo: Martin Hajek

Photo: Martin Hajek

When the next generation iPads are unveiled this Thursday, we’re expecting a thinner form factor, recessed volume buttons, refined speaker grills, gold color option and, of course, Touch ID.

But what if Apple went ahead and rethought the devices’ design language so as to match up with the stunning appearance of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus?

That’s the idea behind some beautiful new 3D renderings from one of our favorite concept designers Martin Hajek, who previously imagined what it might look like if the iPad was also struck with a case of Bendgate.

Check them out after the jump.

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Ireland plans to close tax loophole that helped Apple save billions

Photo: The Dark Knight

Photo: The Dark Knight

Ireland will apparently announce plans to phase out its “Double Irish” tax arrangement that has allowed companies like Apple and Google to save billions, according to a Reuters report citing sources familiar with the matter.

Over the past 18 months, the country has been criticized by both the United States and Europe for tax loopholes that let companies slash their overseas tax rate to single digits. Preliminary findings by the European Commission recently slammed a “sweetheart” tax deal on the part of Ireland that allowed Apple to avoid paying taxes by building up a massive offshore cash pile of $137.7 billion in the country.

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