Apple Introduces Latest iPad

Pour one out for the OG iPad Mini, as Apple has just removed it from its website and online store. It proved Apple could effectively build a smaller tablet, though its low-resolution (1024 by 768) display doesn't hold a candle to the sharp Retina screens we're used to today. And with the iPad Mini 2 at $299 (and no shortage of deals available), there simply wasn't any room for the older tablet on the market. Now Apple is only promoting the iPad Mini 2 and 3 online. And given the $100 price difference between those two tablets, as well as the fact that they sport the same hardware (aside from Touch ID on the iPad Mini 3), we recommend snapping up the iPad Mini 2 for now. By dumping the original iPad Mini, Apple now has a fully 64-bit lineup of iPads, which should make life easier for developers moving forward.

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ICYMI: Bendy Batteries, Spray-Painting Drones, and More

Today on In Case You Missed It: The flexible battery that takes its style notes from kirigami (origami's hipper cousin); a VR musical visualizer that will have you tripping like it's 1998; and a tutorial for a DIY spray-painting drone that may not fly so well now — but try and diss it when it's painting your 11-foot ceilings. One of the collaborators on that last project is the graffiti artist who defaced Kendall Jenner's billboard using a drone—so you know, I'm a fan.

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aafad 167/365 call centre-kun

The Federal Communications Commission has just made it clear that customers can ask carriers to block illegal robocalls and spam messages for them -- and that telcos can legally do so. In a 3-2 vote, the commission has passed a proposal that makes it perfectly legal to stop automated calls before they reach consumers. Some phone companies apparently tell subscribers and industry watchdogs that they can't do anything about the problem, because they're required to connect every call. With the new rules in place, they can't use that as a reason anymore, but it's still up to them whether or not to fulfill a customer's request. They're not actually obligated to put a stop to automated calls whenever someone asks them, (and we'll bet a lot of people will, because nobody likes getting them) even if the technology already exists for wireless carriers.

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Facebook has a sparkly new photo-sharing app called Moments, but you can't download it anywhere in Europe. At least, not without employing a sneaky workaround. The reason for its omission in the App Store and Google Play is tied to politics; back in 2012, Facebook was pressured by European data authorities to remove its "tag suggest" facial recognition feature from the social network. Since then it's never been fully restored and regulators haven't changed their stance. This causes problems for Moments, because the app works by scanning your camera roll and picking out the faces of your Facebook friends.

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Own-brand devices appear to be all the rage at the moment, or at least for two of the UK's major carriers, they are. EE's recently launched new smartphones, a tablet and a 4G action cam, while Vodafone too is yielding a steady stream of bespoke handsets and slates. And now, just as EE's dipped its toe into the mid-range with its Harrier smartphone, Vodafone wades into the same waters with the Smart Ultra 6, its "most powerful" own-brander to date. Available from today, the mouthful of a phone is fronted by a 5.5-inch, 1080p display, with a 1.5GHz octa-core Snapdragon 615 humming away inside. For landscapes and selfies you've got 13- and 5-megapixel cameras, and in other key specs you're looking at 2GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable storage, a 3,000mAh battery and Android 5.0 Lollipop running the show. Not too shabby, considering the £125 pay-as-you-go price.

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Nokia Lumia 925

When a deal with Microsoft allows it to do so in 2016, Nokia plans to design and license phones again. In what comes as no surprise, the company's CEO told Manager Magazin that it would look for interested parties to release the devices when the time comes. "We will look for suitable partners," said CEO Rajeev Suri in an interview. "We would simply design them and then make the brand name available to license." Nokia sold its devices and services business to Microsoft last year, but it can begin to license mobile gadgets to other companies next year. If you'll recall, it already released the familiar-looking N1 tablet in China post-acquisition. Of course, Nokia still owns its Here mapping tech, which has reportedly drawn interest from automakers and transportation companies like Uber. While the devices may carry Nokia's aesthetics, keep in mind that the Lumia, Asha and X brands all belong to Microsoft. A company would pay Nokia for the design work and rights to use the name, but those recognizable labels are off limits.

[Image credit: Stilgherrian/Flickr]

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Samsung is finally responding to a major security bug that affects the keyboards on its Galaxy smartphones and tablets. The security firm NowSecure revealed the exploit earlier this week, which gives hackers the ability to execute code on Samsung's mobile devices. Today, Samsung announced that it's issuing a fix to its mobile security policies over the next few days. The company also stressed that it didn't think the exploit wasn't much of a threat, since it required a hacker being on an unsecured network with your phone. Also, the company's Knox security software offers kernel protection to prevent malicious code from running. Still, this isn't the sort of exploit any company can ignore, especially when a research firm has already detailed exactly how it works.

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The holy month of Ramadan began for Muslims this week, which includes fasting from all food and drink during the day. In order to keep you informed of the exact times for sunrise and sunset, Google launched My Ramadan Companion. In addition to the time info, the site also collects recipes, local restaurant listings, YouTube content and other useful items in a card-based format for easy browsing. What's more, the site pushes its findings to Google Now so the info you need is just a few swipes away on your phone. The digital assistant will suggest apps that can help you make the most of Ramadan -- like reminding you to wake up for Sahur. The site is live so you can peruse as needed through the 30-day period that ends the evening of July 17th.

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Apple Watch Sport checking out apps

The first Apple Watch might have only just reached stores, but that isn't stopping rumors about Cupertino's next wearable. Sources for 9to5Mac claim that Apple already has some big plans for its second-generation Watch, and the highlight would be a front camera for video calls -- yes, you'd get to live out your Inspector Gadget dreams and have a face-to-face chat from your wrist. There's a chance this feature could get cut if there's either a change in the roadmap or logistical problems, but it's currently on the cards for a "likely" 2016 debut.

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Microsoft Band's golf support in action

You won't have to worry about buying a dedicated golf watch to track every nuance of your next trip to the links -- a Microsoft Band will soon do the job. The folks in Redmond are partnering with TaylorMade to add golfing support to both the Band and the Health app in the weeks ahead. Health will help you find your tee and compile stats, but the wearable should be the real star of the show. The Band will use GPS to detect your hole and give you distance estimates, and it'll be smart enough to keep track of your score based on your swings. It will even tell when you're making practice shots. Should that not be enough, TaylorMade's myRoundPro app will draw on the Band to give you detailed data about your round, such as how often you stayed on the fairway. Although these impending updates aren't going to improve your swing, they should help you spend more time sinking the ball and less time marking scorecards.

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Apple Music

Smaller record labels are unhappy with Apple Music, so much so that some big-name artists may be unavailable when the company's new subscription music service launches on June 30th. Beggars Group says it's "very concerned, especially for artists releasing new albums in the next three months," about Apple's proposal to pay zero royalties out during the three-month free trial it's offering users. In a letter to its artists and managers, it explains that it struggles to see "why rights owners and artists should bear this aspect of Apple's customer acquisition costs."

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"Today, I am proud to share with you that our eagerly-awaited OnePlus 2 will come loaded with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 v2.1," starts the blog post from OnePlus. Color us not surprised that the sequel to one of the most sought-after Android phones will come with, well, the processor you expected it to (bar those pesky overheating rumors). What's more interesting is that ".1" hanging off the end of the processor's version number. OnePlus goes on to explain that it worked directly with Qualcomm to create an "improved" version of the CPU. One the phone-maker claims won't get hot like reports suggest.

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Day Two Of Mobile World Congress 2015

It's taken nearly a month, but the round Moto 360 smartwatch is finally joining some other Android Wear devices with support for the latest software update. It's rolling out to owners now, and adds features like the ability to connect directly to WiFi even if your phone is out of Bluetooth range, apps that stay visible until they're dismissed (especially useful for maps and to-do lists) and the ability to draw your own emoji right on the screen. Wearers can even scroll through info on the screen without touching it, simply by rotating their wrists. We felt like the Moto 360 was the best Android Wear device you could get nine months ago, and this update may help it keep up with the pack at its reduced price -- if it hits your wrist let us know how things are going.

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Vimeo has just released a redesigned Cameo video app, more than a year since it purchased the startup. According to the company, it rebuilt the app "from the ground up starting from scratch," though it retains its core feature: the ability to create, edit and share video clips. The team made editing a lot simpler and video rendering a lot faster; they also added a bunch of new themes, fonts and soundtracks for background music that you can use. You can easily import straight from Vimeo or your iPhone camera roll, as well, without having to worry about file size and length. And, as you'd expect, the redesigned app makes it simpler to upload clips to Vimeo, where your stuff might get featured in the new "Best of Cameo" channel. The new Cameo's now out on iTunes (or it will soon be, if you don't see it yet) and remains separate from its parent company's application.

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BlackBerry Classic

If you're a BlackBerry-toting American, you're about to get a ton of Android apps on your plate. As promised, BlackBerry has started the US rollout of an update that gives all BB10 devices access to the Amazon Appstore, saving you from having to sideload some of the Android titles you can't live without. You'll also get better anti-theft protection and a "fresh look" that includes faster access to common tasks.

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