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Apple starting preparations for the iPad 2 launch event

Apple has already started preparations for the highly anticipated iPad 2 launch event. The event takes place next Wednesday, March 2nd at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco.

This is the same location that Apple used for the first unveiling of the iPad last year; the theme being used this time is very similar too with splashes of color on a white background.

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New and updated iPhone and iPad apps for Thursday, February 24

Every day, TiPb gets flooded with announcements for new and updated iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad apps and games. So every day we pick just a few of the most interesting, the most notable, and simply the most awesome to share with you!

  • SpeechTrans Ultimate Powered By Nuance: Magically speak and understand different languages within a matter of seconds with 99% speech recognition accuracy and even have Facebook chat translated! [$19.99 - iTunes link]

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iOS 4.3 GM seed incoming, general release next week?

BGR, who was accurately tipped about the last iOS 4.3 beta release data and build, has heard that the Gold Master release for iOS 4.3 (8F190) is done and could go out to developers at any time, with the full release version possible for next week's iPad 2 event.

Certainly sounds reasonable. We'll know the first part when the GM hits developer.apple.com, and the second part when Apple execs take the stage on Wednesday.

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MobileMe no longer available from Apple.com, revamp coming?

TiPb readers jumping on new MacBook Pros today have let us know that Apple is no longer offering discounted MobileMe boxes as an option along with a new Mac purchase. A quick check shows you can't buy it from store.apple.com at all anymore.

MacRumors confirms that Apple has notified resellers that they won't be producing the boxes for retail anymore either.

Could this be the first sign a revamp is really on its way? Could we -- dare I say it -- see a new MobileMe at next Wednesday's iPad 2 event?

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Apple releases Mac OS X Lion developer preview

Apple announced today that the next version of their desktop operating system, Mac OS X Lion -- the one that takes iPhone and iPad features back to the Mac -- is now available for developers to preview.

“The iPad has inspired a new generation of innovative features in Lion,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Developers are going to love Mission Control and Launchpad, and can now start adding great new Lion features like full screen, gestures, Versions and Auto Save to their own apps.”

There are the features they've mentioned before, including the Mission Control system that replaces/unifies Spaces and Exposé, Launchpad which lets you have a grid of apps like iOS, full screen apps also like iOS, more multitouch gestures like iOS (sensing a trend?), and some new ones like a new, iPad-inspired version of Mail, AirDrop which sounds like AirPlay for files, Resume which is saved-state for Mac OS, Auto-Save, a new File Vault, and more.

No mention of 10.7, does that mean Apple thinks version numbers aren't even developer-facing information anymore? Press release after the break and feel free to speculate if we'll see things AirDrop show up for iOS at next week's iPad event...

[Apple.com]

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Apple releases new MacBook Pros with FaceTime HD, Thunderbolt I/O

As rumored, Apple has released new MacBook Pros this morning in 13 inch, 15 inch and 17 inch form factors featuring quad-core Intel Core i7 processors at the high end and a couple of features that might just be of interest to the TiPb faithful -- FaceTime HD and Thunderbolt I/O.

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iPad 2: Mockups, delays, and never-ending nonsense

Even though Apple has now announced the iPad 2 event for next Wednesday, March 2, there are still tons of rumors floating around, from the interesting to the absurd.

Japanese iPad blog ilab.cc claims to have a newer mockup of iPad 2 (see above) that shows the speaker grill now all dotted up, and the casing even thinner than ever. 9to5Mac also hears that it may be ready to ship as soon as late March.

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iPhone Live podcast 9pm ET! Come chat!

iPhone Live! podcast is tonight people and we want you to show up and chat with us!

Time: 6pm PT, 9pm ET, 2am GMT so you better be there!

Place: http://live.tipb.com/live/

(And yes, you can watch from iPhone via Ustream Viewer app (here's how) and iPad (we recommend Duet Browser.)

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Apple cuts minimum iAd purchase price in half

Apple has cut the minimum purchase price for advertisers on its mobile iAd network from $1 million to $500,000 in an effort to appeal to smaller companies and help broaden the mobile advertising platform, according to All Things Digital.

The new entry point is $500,000, a significantly smaller commitment, particularly for smaller brands and agencies that are creating and producing their own iAds.

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