Car Audio Installer Creates Custom Entertainment System Using iPads, Apple TV [iOS Blog]

Before heading on a road trip from Los Angeles, California to Phoenix, Arizona with his family to watch spring training baseball, MacRumors forum member and car audio installer Wesley, otherwise known as MrMacMini, decided that some entertainment would be needed for the five-hour drive. With a love for both Apple products and car audio installations, he decided to create his own entertainment system based on a pair of iPads, an Apple TV and Alpine headrest monitors in his 2011 Toyota Sienna.

Toyota Sienna iPad
The custom in-car entertainment system consists of a removable iPad mini retrofitted into the vehicle’s dashboard, alongside two discontinued Alpine PKG-M780 headrest monitors in the rear that mirror an iPad 2 over AirPlay using a third-generation Apple TV. The setup also includes a 1TB Seagate Wireless Plus hard drive and Alpine CDE-HD149BT head unit for AM, FM, HD Radio, CDs and Bluetooth streaming audio. Wesley also purchased factory brackets to mount the head unit in the factory rear DVD player location.

“The iPad mini sends the sound via Bluetooth to the Alpine head unit. I opted for keeping a head unit so that I can still use the steering controls and have access the radio, in case 1 day I forget the iPad at home,” explains Wesley. “The rear screens run independent. My daughters can watch anything they want via the Apple TV and the 1TB wireless Seagate. If we all want to want to watch the same thing, I have it set up so that I can AirPlay from the iPad mini to the Apple TV and have the sound feed back through the Alpine head unit.”

Equipment Used

  1. iPad mini 3 running iOS 8.1 (jailbroken) — in the dash, fully removable
  2. iPad 2 — used for rear monitors
  3. Apple TV 3 — used for rear monitors
  4. Alpine CDE-HD149BT — AM/FM/HD Radio/CD/BT streaming audio head unit
  5. Alpine PKG-M780 (discontinued) – Dual 7″ headrest monitors
  6. Seagate Wireless Plus – 1TB HDD

A complete gallery of before and after photos, including pictures of the individual parts and assembly process, can be found within the discussion forums. For those without the DIY savviness to create their own in-car entertainment system, Alpine has partnered with Apple as an official maker of aftermarket CarPlay systems, which bring Maps, Messages, Phone, Music and Siri to the dashboard, for between $700 to $1400 depending on the unit.

Toyota Apple Entertainment System
Given that certain car manufacturers are only now beginning to roll out CarPlay support in select new vehicles, and the expensive price tag of aftermarket systems by Alpine and Pioneer, this custom Apple-powered entertainment system could be a more affordable, not to mention cool, alternative for those that may have an iPad or two kicking around the house. If you have any Apple-related DIY projects, past or present, be sure to let us know by sending us a tip.



Review: The BrydgeAir Keyboard Turns Your iPad Air 2 Into a Mini MacBook [iOS Blog]

After we published our review of the ClamCase Pro keyboard for the iPad Air 2, some of our readers suggested that we take a look at other iPad keyboards available on the market. We decided to take MacRumors readers up on that suggestion, and over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at several keyboards designed for Apple’s newest tablet, the iPad Air 2.

We’re kicking things off with a review of the BrydgeAir keyboard, which is able to work with both the original iPad Air and the iPad Air 2. Much like the ClamCase Pro we previously looked at, the all-aluminum BrydgeAir is designed to turn the iPad into a miniature MacBook.

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At $169, the BrydgeAir is one of the more expensive iPad keyboards on the market, but that price point comes with some perks not found in many cheaper options — quality aluminum construction, a fluid 180 degree hinge, built-in dual stereo speakers, and backlit keys.

What’s in the Box and Setup

The BrydgeAir comes in a sleek iPad-style cardboard box that contains the keyboard itself, a black USB to micro-USB cable used for charging and a set of extra pads that are designed to make it fit the iPad Air 2.

BrydgeAir has designed the keyboard to be compatible with both the iPad Air and the iPad Air 2, and the hinges that hold the iPad in place need extra lining to keep the iPad Air 2 securely in place because it’s thinner than the first iPad Air.

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Setting it up for the iPad Air 2 involves carefully removing the existing silicone shims, as BrydgeAir calls them, and replacing them with new ones that are thicker. The instructions said to “make sure there was no remaining glue or residue on the bare hinge” after pulling off the old adhesive shims, but there was no way to get the remaining glue off of the hinges.

We were disappointed that this step was not done by BrydgeAir, as the need to remove the existing set of shims and add a new one seems to compromise the stickiness of the second set of shims. Lining up the new shims and placing them on is a frustrating process right out of the box.

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The keyboard pairs to the iPad like any other keyboard. Flick on the power button on the bottom, open the Settings menu, tap the keyboard’s pairing button next to the power button, and it’s automatically detected and pairs with a tap. The built-in speakers need to be paired separately by holding the speaker pairing button, also located next to the power button.

Design

The BrydgeAir is made from a single piece of aluminum and can be ordered in silver, gold, or space gray to match the design of the iPad. It consists of a keyboard with two hinged silicone-lined tabs at the top to hold the iPad in place, rather than being a full clamshell case like the ClamCase Pro.

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Each of the tabs lines up with the iPad’s screen, and holds it securely in place while the keyboard is in use. As mentioned above, the tab lining needs to be swapped out before the keyboard can be used with the iPad Air 2, but once the thicker lining is in place, the iPad fits into the tabs securely.

The hinges rotate 180 degrees, which means the iPad can be placed into several different viewing positions from all the way closed (forwards) to bent flat (backwards). Because it folds closed, the keyboard serves as a cover for the iPad display when shut, but there’s no protection for the back of the tablet. The BrydgeAir is landscape only, like many keyboards for the iPad Air 2.

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We traveled with the BrydgeAir in a bag next to an aluminum MacBook, and that caused the hinges to become scratched and discolored, but the aluminum of the keyboard itself was fine.

Since the iPad is only held in place with these silicone-lined tabs, it takes just a few seconds to stick the iPad in the BrydgeAir or remove it to use without the keyboard case. With some other keyboard cases, it can be a chore to remove the iPad when you only need the tablet function, but that’s not a problem with the BrydgeAir.

Because the keyboard and the iPad match so well, the BrydgeAir makes the iPad look like a mini MacBook. It’s a heavy keyboard that weighs over a pound (more than the iPad Air 2), but that weight is important because it makes sure that the BrydgeAir doesn’t shift and move while it’s being used.

The weight of the keyboard balances out the weight of the iPad, so it never feels like the iPad is in danger of tipping over when using the keyboard. It’s also stable on a desk or in a lap, making it perfect for typing while watching television, on an airplane, or in other situations where you may not have a hard surface to work with. One quick note — due to the way the iPad fits in the BrydgeAir, it’s difficult to swipe upwards on the screen to access the Control Center.

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On the bottom of the BrydgeAir keyboard, there are four rubber feet to ensure stability on a desk, and two rubber bumpers on the front area to keep the iPad screen from touching the aluminum. The back edge near the hinge also includes two built-in speaker openings, while the other side includes buttons to turn the keyboard on and off, activate Bluetooth, and turn on the case’s speakers.

The Keys

The BrydgeAir’s keys feel similar to the keys on a MacBook and are very much comparable to the keys on the ClamCase Pro, but when comparing to a MacBook, it’s important to note that the spacing isn’t quite the same.

The BrydgeAir is more compact than a MacBook keyboard so the keys are slightly closer together. It’s not too difficult to adjust to the smaller spacing, however, and our typing speeds on the BrydgeAir were similar to the typing speeds we were able to obtain on similar keyboards for the iPad. The BrydgeAir also doesn’t have the same key travel as the keys on a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro so it’s not as “clicky” as a MacBook keyboard, but the keys still feel nice and springy under the fingers.

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One of the best things about the BrydgeAir’s keys is the backlighting. There’s an LED panel underneath the keyboard that lights up the keys, making this one of the best iPad keyboards for use in the dark. The lights are controlled by a key on the keyboard, and there are three different brightness settings to suit multiple lighting situations. Many cheaper keyboards don’t offer backlighting, and even some of the more expensive options, like the ClamCase Pro, don’t have that feature.

Like many keyboards for the iPad, the BrydgeAir has a row of keys at the top of the keyboard that control functions specific to Apple’s tablet. There are buttons for going straight to the home screen, locking the iPad, changing the screen brightness, opening up search, activating the on-screen keyboard, changing the keyboard language, controlling the volume, and controlling media.

Other Features

The BrydgeAir keyboard’s unique feature is its built-in speakers, which can be used instead of the iPad’s speakers. Pairing speakers and the keyboard at the same time via Bluetooth drains a decent amount of battery life and the value that the speakers add over the iPad’s own built-in speakers is questionable.

brydgeairspeakers
BrydgeAir’s speakers are louder than the iPad’s built-in speakers, but there didn’t seem to be a noticeable difference in sound quality. The speakers are located at the back of the keyboard so sound is still directed away from the user, which doesn’t seem like much of an improvement compared to using the iPad’s own sound.

To preserve battery when not in use, the speakers can be turned off by holding down the speaker button on the bottom of the keyboard for four seconds. Turning them on again is done the same way.

brydgeaircontrols
With the speakers and backlighting turned on, the BrydgeAir’s battery lasted for approximately two weeks of regular use, but without the speakers and backlighting, it should be much longer. The BrydgeAir website says the battery lasts for three months. There’s no way to tell what the battery level is at unless it’s running low, which is a bit of a negative. When low, the backslash key will flash blue.

Who’s it For?

If you’re looking for an iPad keyboard that will let you type nearly as fast as you can type on a MacBook Air or Pro, the BrydgeAir is a good option. It has a solid build quality that outshines most of the other iPad keyboards on the market, but keep in mind — this is a heavy keyboard.

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The BrydgeAir is going to add a pound of weight to your iPad, so it’s not the best option for frequent travel. Unfortunately, the speakers seem like more of a gimmick than a truly useful feature, but the backlit keys and the overall design of the keyboard make up for it. For those who don’t mind the weight, the BrydgeAir is a keyboard that looks and feels worth its premium price tag. If you’re looking for a keyboard that’s versatile, easy to use, simple to remove, and has MacBook-style qualities, you won’t go wrong with the BrydgeAir.

Pros:

  • Solid construction
  • Balanced weight
  • Hinge for multiple viewing angles
  • Backlit keys
  • MacBook-style key spacing and feel

Cons:

  • It’s heavier than the iPad and not great for travel
  • Speakers more gimmicky than actually useful
  • Setting it up for the iPad Air 2 is a hassle
  • Expensive

How to Buy

The BrydgeAir for the iPad Air and iPad Air 2 can be purchased from the BrydgeAir website for $169. The site also sells iPad keyboards for older versions of the iPad, and it offers several accessories for the BrydgeAir, including a sleeve and a protective shell for the iPad.

Update: Beginning in mid-April, all BrydgeAir keyboards will ship ready for the iPad Air 2, rather than the iPad Air. The default shims in the box will be for the iPad Air 2, eliminating one of the main inconveniences we experienced with the keyboard. Optional iPad Air shims will also be included in the box.

As of April, the BrydgeAir will also ship with upgraded speakers that offer improved sound, so it may be worth waiting to purchase until the new version is available.



iPad Pro Dummy Points Towards Dual Lightning Ports or USB-C Port

Images of what appear to be a mockup version of the upcoming larger-screened “iPad Pro” depict either a secondary Lightning port or a USB-C port on one side of the device, suggesting it could potentially have multiple methods of charging and/or the abi…

Buyer’s Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, iMac, MacBook Air, and Apple Accessories [Mac Blog]

Deals continue to be good this week, with Best Buy offering deep discounts on a few iPad Air 2 models and iPad mini 2 models. B&H Photo is discounting some of the new MacBook Air models by $50, and there continue to be steep discounts on older MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models.

We’ve got quite a few Mac-oriented Apple accessories available at a discount this week, including a backup battery pack and SD card storage. We’ve even got deals on Apple Watch accessories — Casetify is offering discounts on its custom Apple Watch band pre-orders.

iPad Air 2

Best Buy is still offering the lowest prices we’ve seen on a few select iPad Air 2 models. The 16GB Cellular iPad Air 2 in silver is available for $499.99, $130 off its regular price. The 64GB Cellular iPad Air 2 in silver is available for $599.99, $130 off. The 128GB Cellular iPad Air 2 in silver is priced at $699.99, also a $130 discount.

ipadair2c
B&H Photo is offering a discount on all of its iPad Air 2 models, dropping prices by $30 to $50. With the discount, the 16GB WiFi only iPad Air 2 is priced at $459 and the 64GB model is priced at $569.

iPad Air

Best Buy is also discounting cellular versions of its iPad Air stock, dropping the price on the 16GB Verizon Space Gray model to $379.99 and the price of the 32GB Verizon Space Gray model to $429.99, two of the lowest prices we’ve seen on those tablets.

Both Best Buy and B&H Photo have deep discounts on their remaining stock of now-discontinued higher-capacity iPad Air models, as listed below.

iPad Air Wi-Fi Silver 64GB$449
iPad Air Wi-Fi Silver 128GB$529
iPad Air Wi-Fi Space Gray 128GB$529

iPad Air Cellular Silver 128GB (AT&T) – $549.99
iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 128GB (AT&T) – $549.99
iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 64GB (AT&T) – $499
iPad Air Cellular Silver 64GB (Verizon) – $566.99
iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 64GB (Verizon) – $629
iPad Air Cellular Silver 128GB (Verizon) – $599
iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 128GB (Verizon) – $599

iPad mini

Best Buy has a sale on its original iPad mini stock, discounting the 16GB tablet by $50, which drops the price to $199.99. It’s available in Silver and Space Gray.

iPad mini 2

Amazon has a few iPad mini 2 models available at discounted prices. The 16GB Cellular Verizon iPad mini 2 in Silver is available for $329. The 16GB Cellular Verizon iPad mini 2 in Space Gray is available for $335. The 32GB Cellular Verizon iPad mini 2 in Space Gray is available for $399.99.

Best Buy and Amazon also have remaining stock of now-discontinued higher-capacity iPad mini 2 models, which are a good deal if you’re looking for an iPad mini. Compared to the iPad mini 3, the iPad mini 2 only lacks Touch ID.

retina_ipad_mini_colors_front_back
iPad mini Cellular Silver 128GB (AT&T) – $449
iPad mini Cellular Space Gray 128GB (AT&T) – $435
iPad mini Cellular Space Gray 64GB (AT&T) – $399.99
iPad mini Cellular Silver 128GB (Verizon) – $449
iPad mini Cellular Space Gray 128GB (Verizon) – $534.99
iPad mini Cellular Silver 64GB (Verizon) – $396.99
iPad mini Cellular Space Gray 64GB (Verizon) – $414.99

iPad mini 3

Best Buy has discounts on a single iPad mini 3, the 128GB Cellular iPad model in gold. The price is $579.99, a discount of $150.

iMac

– 21.5-inch 1.4GHz/8GB/500GB (Best Buy) – $999.99, $100 off
– 21.5-inch 2.7GHz/8GB/1TB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) – $1,189, $110 off
– 21.5-inch 2.9GHz/8GB/1TB (B&H Photo) – $1,369, $130 off
– 27-inch 3.2GHz/8GB/1TB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) – $1,689, $110 off
– 27-inch 3.4GHz/8GB/1TB (Adorama) – $1,794, $205 off
– 27-inch 3.5Ghz/8GB/1TB Retina iMac (B&H Photo) (MacMall) – $2,349, $150 off

retina-imac-27

Mac mini

– 1.4GHz/4GB/500GB (Amazon) (Adorama) (B&H Photo) – $464.99, $34 off
– 2.6GHz/8GB/1TB (Best Buy) – $649.99, $49 off
– 2.8GHz/8GB/1TB (MacMall) – $934.99, $64 off

MacBook Air

– 2015 11-inch 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB – (B&H Photo) $849.99, $50 off
– 2015 13-inch 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB (B&H Photo)- $949.99, $50 off
– 2014 11-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/128GB – (Amazon) (Adorama) (B&H Photo) (MacMall)$789, $109 off
– 2014 11-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/256GB (Amazon) (B&H Photo) – $919, $180 off
– 2014 13-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/128GB (Amazon) (Adorama) (B&H Photo) – $819, $180 off
– 2014 13-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/256GB (Amazon) (B&H Photo) – $1029, $179 off

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Retina MacBook Pro

– 2014 15-inch 2.2GHz/16GB/256GB (Best Buy) (B&H Photo) (MacMall) – $1,799, $200 off
– 2014 15-inch 2.5GHz/16GB/512GB (B&H Photo) -$2,249, $250 off
– 2014 13-inch 2.6GHz/8GB/128GB (B&H Photo) (MacMall) – $1,098, $201 off
– 2014 13-inch 2.6GHz/8GB/256GB (B&H Photo) – $1,249, $239 off
– 2014 13-inch 2.8GHz/8GB/512GB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) – $1,588.99, $210 off

macbook_pro_13_15_late_2013

Apps

There are quite a few apps that are on sale at discounted prices or available for free for a limited time. We’ll highlight a few here, but make sure to check out our sister site AppShopper for a complete list.

Puzzle game MUJO is available for free, down from $1.99. Call of Duty: Strike Team is available for $1.99, down from $6.99. Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath is available for $2.99, down from $4.99. Fantastical 2 for iPad is available for $6.99, down from $9.99. Fantastical 2 for iPhone is available for $2.99, down from $4.99.

XCOM: Enemy Within is available for $4.99, down from $12.99. BioShock is available for $2.99, down from $10.99. Civilization Revolution 2 is available for $4.99, down from $14.99.

Tangent was named Apple’s app of the week this week, and it will be available to download for free for the next six days.

Apple Accessories

Groupon is selling the Otterbox Defender case for the iPhone 6 for $37.99, down from its regular price of $49.95. Groupon has the Incase Hard-Shell Case for the 11 or 13-inch MacBook Air for $9.99, down from $49.95. The site is also selling the Griffin Survivor Case and Stand for the iPad mini for $29.99, down from $59.99. LivingSocial has Apple EarPods for $13.99, down from $29.99.

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Groupon has the Beats by Dre Pill speaker for $159.99, down from $199.95. The Lifeproof nuud Case for iPad 2/3/4 is available from Groupon for $34.99, down from $129.99. Groupon is also selling the 3.3ft Apple Lightning to USB cable for $10.99, $9 off its regular price, or $18.99 for a pack of 2.

StackSocial has the Nifty MiniDrive for MacBook Air or MacBook Pro at a slight discount of $32.99, down from $39.99. StackSocial also has the ChugPlug Portable MacBook Power Pack for $84.99, down from $129.99. The Timbuk2 Slide Laptop Backpack for the 15-inch MacBook Pro is available for $24.99 from Newegg with coupon code EMCAPNV56.

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The DC Superhero Clip Case for the iPhone 5/5s is available for $7.99 from Groupon, down from $29.99. There’s also a Nintendo version for $8.99. The Bobine flexible iPhone cable/dock is available from StackSocial for $24.99, down from $35. Just Mobile’s AluPen Twist stylus is available from DailySteals for $19, down from $40. Speck is offering 25% off select iPhone 5/5s/5c cases for a limited time.

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Casetify is offering a 15 percent discount plus free shipping on its custom Apple Watch bands with the code WATCH15. The deal will last until 3/30.

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MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors.



Every UK House of Commons member is getting an iPad

When the UK’s Members of Parliament get down to work following the election in May, they’ll have more than just a new government on their hands — they’ll have a tablet, too. The Parliamentary tech team is handing out cellular-equipped iPad Air 2 uni…

All 650 UK House Of Commons Members To Get An iPad Air 2

33b03cb8bd18dc7ca5fae210d97b2088006a5944a413d3a3cef1b81a9f6f035d Apple’s iPad Air 2 is getting its own ‘Oprah moment’ in the UK today, as all 650 Members of Parliament in the UK House of Commons members are getting the devices following the general election coming up in May. Already, about 209 of the governing body’s members have an iPad, but the Apple tablet will be standard issue once this new initiative goes live. The standard… Read More

Buyer’s Guide: Deals on iMac, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, Apple Accessories and More [Mac Blog]

As we head into April, deals are starting to pick up. Some iMacs are at the lowest prices we’ve seen, and Best Buy is offering steep discounts on a few select iPad Air 2 models. Best Buy is also discounting its entire stock of iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3 tablets, and there are some solid deals to be had on older MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models.

We’ve also got discounts on a range of Apple accessories like Mophie battery cases, Beats headphones, and the Pebble Steel smart watch, plus we’ve found some of the best app sales of the week.

iPad Air 2

Best Buy is offering the lowest prices we’ve seen on a few select iPad Air 2 models. The 16GB Cellular iPad Air 2 is available for $499.99, $130 off its regular price. The 128GB Cellular iPad Air 2 is priced at $699.99, also a $130 discount.

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B&H Photo is offering a discount on all of its iPad Air 2 models, dropping prices by $30 to $50. With the discount, the 16GB WiFi only iPad Air 2 is priced at $459 and the 64GB model is priced at $569.

iPad Air

Best Buy is also discounting cellular versions of its iPad Air stock, dropping the price on the 16GB Verizon Space Gray model to $379.99 and the price of the 32GB Verizon Space Gray model to $429.99, two of the lowest prices we’ve seen on those tablets.

Both Best Buy and B&H Photo have deep discounts on their remaining stock of now-discontinued higher-capacity iPad Air models, as listed below.

iPad Air Wi-Fi Space Gray 128GB$529
iPad Air Wi-Fi Silver 128GB$529

iPad Air Cellular Silver 128GB (AT&T) – $549.99
iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 128GB (AT&T) – $549.99
iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 64GB (AT&T) – $532.99
iPad Air Cellular Silver 64GB (Verizon) – $566.99
iPad Air Cellular Silver 128GB (Verizon) – $599
iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 128GB (Verizon) – $599

iPad mini

Best Buy has a sale on its original iPad mini stock, discounting the 16GB tablet by $50, which drops the price to $199.99. It’s available in Silver and Space Gray.

iPad mini 2

Best Buy is discounting its stock of iPad mini 2 tablets by $50, dropping the prices on the 16GB WiFi only model to $249.99 and the price of the WiFi only 32GB model to $299.99.

retina_ipad_mini_colors_front_back
Best Buy and Amazon also have remaining stock of now-discontinued higher-capacity iPad mini 2 models, which are a good deal if you’re looking for an iPad mini. Compared to the iPad mini 3, the iPad mini 2 only lacks Touch ID.

iPad mini Cellular Silver 128GB (AT&T) – $479.99
iPad mini Cellular Space Gray 128GB (AT&T) – $479.99
iPad mini Cellular Space Gray 64GB (AT&T) – $444.16
iPad mini Cellular Silver 128GB (Verizon) – $479
iPad mini Cellular Space Gray 128GB (Verizon) – $534.99
iPad mini Cellular Silver 64GB (Verizon) – $396.99
iPad mini Cellular Space Gray 64GB (Verizon) – $421

iPad mini 3

Best Buy is discounting all of its iPad mini 3 stock by $50, dropping the price of the 16GB WiFi only model to $349.99 and the 64GB WiFi only model to $449.

Apple TV

In case you missed it, Apple dropped the price on the Apple TV from $99 to $69 last week. It’s available from Apple.com and from Best Buy at that price point.

apple tv
Adorama is offering a $10 mail-in rebate on an Apple TV purchase from the site, which can be found here. With the rebate, the price drops to $59.

iMac

– 21.5-inch 2.7GHz/8GB/1TB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) – $1,189, $110 off
– 21.5-inch 2.9GHz/8GB/1TB (Amazon) (B&H Photo) – $1,329, $170 off
– 27-inch 3.2GHz/8GB/1TB (Amazon) (Adorama) (B&H Photo) (MacMall) – $1,689, $110 off
– 27-inch 3.4GHz/8GB/1TB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) – $1,794, $205 off
– 27-inch 3.5Ghz/8GB/1TB Retina iMac (B&H Photo) (MacMall) – $2,349, $150 off

retina-imac-27

Mac mini

– 1.4GHz/4GB/500GB (Amazon) (Adorama) (B&H Photo) – $464.99, $34 off
– 2.6GHz/8GB/1TB (Best Buy) – $649.99, $49 off
– 2.8GHz/8GB/1TB (MacMall) – $934.99, $64 off

MacBook Air

– 2014 11-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/128GB – (Amazon) (Adorama) (B&H Photo) (MacMall)$789, $109 off
– 2014 11-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/256GB (Amazon) (B&H Photo) – $919, $180 off
– 2014 13-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/128GB (Amazon) (Adorama) (B&H Photo) – $819, $180 off
– 2014 13-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/256GB (Amazon) (B&H Photo) – $1029, $179 off

Retina MacBook Pro

– 2014 15-inch 2.2GHz/16GB/256GB (Best Buy) (B&H Photo) (MacMall) – $1,799, $200 off
– 2014 15-inch 2.5GHz/16GB/512GB (B&H Photo) -$2,249, $250 off
– 2014 13-inch 2.6GHz/8GB/128GB (B&H Photo) (MacMall) – $1,098, $201 off
– 2014 13-inch 2.6GHz/8GB/256GB (B&H Photo) – $1,249, $239 off
– 2014 13-inch 2.8GHz/8GB/512GB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) (MacMall) – $1,588.99, $210 off

Apps

There are quite a few apps that are on sale at discounted prices or available for free for a limited time. We’ll highlight a few here, but make sure to check out our sister site AppShopper for a complete list.

Talking cat app Tom Loves Angela for iPhone and iPad is available for free, as is C.H.A.O.S Combat Copters. Modern Combat 5: Blackout is free this week. Geekbench 3 is also available at no cost, down from $0.99.

Dark Echo was named Apple’s app of the week this week, and it will be available to download for free for the next six days.

Apple Accessories

DailySteals has Beats urBeats in-ear headphones for $45 until midnight on 3/20, down from $99.95. The Lifeproof nuud Case for iPad 2/3/4 is available from Groupon for $34.99, down from $129.99. Groupon is also selling the 3.3ft Apple Lightning to USB cable for $9.99, $10 off its regular price.

beatsheadphones
Woot is selling the Distil Union Leather Wallet Case for iPhone 5/52/5c/6 for $14.99 to $21.99, down from $39.99 to $49.99. Woot is also selling the Mophie Helium battery cases for the iPhone 5/5s for $29.99, down from $79.95.

walletcase
Groupon has the Beats by Dre Pill speaker for $159.99, down from $199.95. LivingSocial has Apple EarPods for $13.99, down from $29.99. Best Buy is discounting the Pebble Steel smart watch by $30, dropping the price to $169.

pebblesteel
Automatic is offering a coupon code to MacRumors readers that will take 20% off all orders through their site. Use this link to have the code applied automatically or enter code MACRUMORS at checkout.

SkinIt, a site that makes custom skins for a wide range of devices from the iPhone to the MacBook, is offering a special buy one get one 50 percent off deal for MacRumors readers. With the code MACRUMORS, you can get 50% off a second skin after purchasing one skin.

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iRig 2 Guitar Interface Now Available for iPhone, iPad and Mac [iOS Blog]

IK Multimedia on Wednesday announced that its iRig 2 mobile guitar interface is now shipping for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Android devices. iRig 2 has several new features over its predecessor, including gain control, a 1/4″ amplifier output, FX/THRU switch, compatibility with the complete line of new Samsung Professional Audio devices and support for devices running Android Lollipop.

“5 years after, and with over one million units sold, IK is now introducing iRig 2. A significant upgrade, it improves on its predecessor by providing better sound quality and more universal compatibility than ever before – and it does this while maintaining the convenience and ease-of-use that have made it such a staple piece of equipment in the arsenal of millions of musicians around the world.”

iRig 2
iRig 2 is available at select music and consumer electronics retailers worldwide, and on the IK Multimedia online store, for the same $39.99 price as the original version. The guitar interface is ready to be used right out of the box and comes with a cross-platform suite of apps and software including free versions of AmpliTube for iOS, Mac and Android Samsung Pro Audio. A clip and velcro strap are also in the box.