5 Apple Developments We Learned This Week: iOS 7, iPad mini, iPhone 5S [RUMOR ROUND-UP]

By Binu Paul , Updated May 11, 2013 09:57 AM EDT
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iPhone/ iPad To Get Pentagon Security Clearance Soon

In what could be a big boost for Apple, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that it plans to allow the Cupertino tech giant's iOS devices onto the Pentagon's secure network early next week. This would open the door of opportunities for Apple to ink lucrative military contracts with the Pentagon, which is currently dominated by BlackBerry.

Alana Johnson, a spokesperson for the Pentagon's Defense Information Systems Agency, confirmed the development to Bloomberg who said that upon approval, government-issued devices running iOS 6 would be given access to the highly secure military networks.

Foxconn Not Manufacturing iPad 5 / iPad Mini 2?

Foxconn is apparently looking to reduce its reliance on Apple, a new report says. "Its new strategy is a shift away from making products that other companies design, and toward developing products of its own, with an especially aggressive push into designing and manufacturing large, flat-screen televisions," The New York Times reports. According to research firm Gartner, the Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturing company is looking for something besides Apple's business that will allow them to grow. As part of its paradigm shift in business approach, Foxconn has already begun designing and manufacturing high-definition television sets. It's also rumored that the delay in iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 release date is apparently caused by the latest developments at Foxconn.

Jony Ive's iOS 7 Influence Won't Just Be On The Surface Alone

A lot has been said about Apple's Human Design interface head Jony Ive's involvement with iOS 7's rumored redesign. According to various reports, Apple's next version of mobile operating system, iOS 7, will sport a very flat look. The flat design is rumored to remove many of the skeuomorphic elements featured in iOS 6. However, Ben Thompson, a former Apple intern, notes that Ive's influence will be featured heavily below the surface as well, Mac Rumors reports. Thompson, currently working with Microsoft's Windows Apps team, was at Apple from June to August 2010. He shares a never before released quote from Ive on his blog Stratechery which read, "But there are a lot of product attributes that don't have those sorts of measures. Product attributes that are more emotive and less tangible. But they're really important. There's a lot of stuff that's really important that you can't distil down to a number.

And I think one of the things with design is that when you look at an object you make many many decisions about it, not consciously, and I think one of the jobs of a designer is that you're very sensitive to trying to understand what goes on between seeing something and filling out your perception of it. You know we all can look at the same object, but we will all perceive it in a very unique way. It means something different to each of us. Part of the job of a designer is to try to understand what happens between physically seeing something and interpreting it."

iPad Mini 2 Release Likely in September or October:

Apple will reportedly begin production on its iPad mini 2 in the next two months and the device is likely to be released sometime in September or October this year. The new iPad mini with a 7.9-inch Retina display is expected to come with the same 7.9-inch frame as its predecessor. "We should see the start of mass production of the panels in June or July," NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim told CNET. According to Shim, iPad mini 2 will have a resolution of 2,048x1,536. "That gives it roughly the same PPI (pixels per inch) as the Retina screen on the iPhone 5 and one of the highest densities for a tablet to date," the report states.

No iTunes Touchscreen App for Windows 8

Microsoft's Windows 8 tablet users will have to wait longer to get a touchscreen-friendly version of Apple's iTunes app. "You shouldn't expect an iTunes app on Windows 8 any time soon," said Tami Reller, Chief Financial Officer of Microsoft's Windows division. "ITunes is in high demand. The welcome mat has been laid out. It's not for lack of trying," he was quoted as saying to CNN Money. While Windows 8 users can still get iTunes, they will only have the option of using it in "desktop" mode, the traditional PC interface that works far better with a keyboard and mouse than on a touchscreen. " That means the growing number of Windows tablet users are getting a less-than-ideal iTunes experience -- or can't download iTunes at all, if they're using the Surface RT, which doesn't run non-Microsoft desktop software," the report states.

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