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Exclusive: Google could launch 32GB Nexus 7 ahead of iPad mini
Yesterday we saw Apple announce its latest and smallest iPad, which will go on sale on November 2, but according to UK retail website Very, the 32GB Nexus 7 tablet could be in customer's hands two days earlier.
We already got wind of stock potentially hitting stores, after a 32GB model was apparently accidentally shipped to a customer in Japan.
Could arrive earlier than October 31
After receiving a tip off that Very had listed the Google Nexus 7 32GB release date as October 31, TechRadar phoned the website and spoke to a sales advisor who told us: "If the product is in stock you should receive the order by October 31, if not earlier."
We pushed the advisor on whether the 32GB Google Nexus 7 was currently in stock if we purchased it today, to which he replied: "It should be."
Obviously we can't be 100 percent sure the sales advisor had got his facts right, as he was unable to give us a clear yes or no to whether the October 31 date was the official shipping day, but it's certainly food for thought.
Thanks James for the tip!
Firms face huge security risks from unmanaged BYOD
More than two thirds (70%) of smartphone owning professionals are using their personal device to access corporate data, however, almost 80 per cent of today's bring-your-own-device (BYOD) activity remains inadequately managed by IT departments. According to a survey by IT analysts OVUM
Ovum has warned that this reliance on BYOD is leaving businesses "not only at risk of data loss but unable to claim they took reasonable preventative measures," and the analysts found a "concerning level" of ignorance by IT professionals about the BYOD trend.
Nearly half of the respondents' employers' IT departments either did not know of BYOD or were ignoring its existence, operating a "don't ask, don't tell" policy, while less than one in ten (8.1%) actively discouraged it.
Richard Absalom, senior analyst at Ovum.said "Despite much speculation, BYOD is here to stay. Therefore, it's worrying to see evidence of such a high proportion of businesses burying their head in the sand when it comes to planning adequately for it," Adding "BYOD multiplies the number of networks, applications, and end-points through which data is accessed. These are the three main points at which data is vulnerable; so, if left unmanaged, BYOD creates a huge data security risk."
Buying smartphones for employees is not the answer
The research also highlighted that just buying smartphones and tablets or the latest Apple iPad mini for employee use isn't the answer..
Ovum's research shows that half of the employees interviewed say privacy concerns would stop them accessing their own personal apps on a corporate provisioned smartphone. For half of all employees, a corporately provisioned smartphone or tablet is not a perfect substitute for a personally owned device, and this will continue to give momentum to the BYOD trend.
iPad mini gets Siri, iPad 2 has to do without
Apple announced the iPad mini last night, alongside a refreshed iPad. The Cupertino company said the tiny tablet would have Siri, the voice-activated personal assistant. The fact the iPad 2 has been left out hints the older device will never have Siri.
The iPad mini has the same processor (A5) and screen resolution (1,024x768 pixels) as the iPad 2, but the display has been shrunk down to 7.9-inches.
It also has higher resolution front- and rear-facing cameras.
It's a little surprising Apple has left Siri off the iPad 2, seeing as even the iPod Touch can use the personal assistant. But then it is a good selling point to try and convince people to spend on a new iPad.
The refreshed range
The iPad 2 is now the budget full-size model of Apple's tablet line-up, with the Wi-Fi-only version starting at £329. It's also only 3G-enabled, compared to the newer iPads. All bets will be on Apple axing it next year, when it announces the next generation of iPads.
Apple also announced a refreshed iPad last night, with an improved front camera, a new A6X processor, LTE connectivity and a Lightning dock. But don't worry if you bought a third-generation iPad in the last 30 days, as you may be able to exchange it for the newer model.
The latest full-size iPad has been dubbed "iPad with Retina display".
Explained: Apple's Fusion Drive: what you need to know
Is there substance to the sci-fi labelling, or has Apple given old tech a new name? Let's find out.
The Fusion Drive promises hard disk space and SSD speed
Hard disks are big, cheap and relatively slow, while SSDs are extremely quick and fairly expensive. The Fusion Drive aims to give you the benefits of both kinds of storage without the downsides, so it's actually two drives in one: there's a traditional hard disk for storage space, and an SSD for speed.
Apple claims that the Fusion Drive will run three and a half times faster than a traditional hard disk for tasks such as photo importing and folder copying, with speeds close to those of pure solid state drives: according to Mac Observer, all disk writes will go to the solid state drive, with files copied to the hard disk platter afterwards if OS X decides they don't need to be on the SSD.
The Fusion Drive storage space is 1TB or 3TB, plus 128GB of SSD
While 128GB of solid-state storage sounds like a lot, it isn't a great deal if you've got an enormous library of HD home movies or massive-megapixel RAW photos - and you don't need SSD speeds for the odd Pages document.
The Fusion Drive comes with core apps on the SSD and documents on the hard disk, but Apple's Phil Schiller says that its software will monitor what you're using and move things from SSD to HDD and vice-versa.
The Fusion Drive doesn't use caching and isn't a RAID drive
We've seen hard disks with SSD caching for years now, and of course RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) storage has been around since PCs were made of wood.
However, the Fusion Drive is neither a caching drive or a RAID one: it's a hybrid drive, so instead of mirroring - creating a cached copy of frequently used data on the SSD - it moves frequently used data from the HDD to the SSD.
The Fusion Drive is two drives, but it looks like one
Apple's Fusion Drive is designed to work invisibly, so you won't see two separate volumes in the Finder: if you go for the 1TB version you'll see a single volume with 1.12TB of storage (1TB of hard disk space coupled to 128GB of SSD storage) and if you go for the 3TB you'll get 3.12TB.
When you back up a Fusion Drive, you'll back up its single volume rather than two separate disks.
The Fusion Drive price isn't as high as you might expect
Apple hasn't announced the different prices for its new iMac range yet, but if you look at the Mac Mini configuration page you'll see that a 1TB Fusion Drive adds £200 to the base price.
That's £40 cheaper than the 256GB SSD option, so if the Fusion Drive's as fast as Apple says it is it'll be a tempting option for Mac Mini and iMac buyers.