Why an iPad mini might lack a Retina display, plus 4 other Apple stories to read today

With so many people writing about Apple(s AAPL), finding the best stories and reports isn’t easy.┬áHere’s our daily pick of stories about the company from around the Web that you shouldn’t miss:

  • Daring Fireball’s John Gruber collected his thoughts on “this iPad Mini thing.” It’s a good read — he covers whether or not it would be a large iPod or small iPad, why Apple might choose a 7.85-inch screen, pricing, and why it might makes sense Apple would build it sans a Retina display.
  • Here’s something having an NFC-equipped iPhone could get us closer to: Apple’s own version of an iTravel app. Unwired View has the published patent that Apple received for an app that would not only let you use the device to check in for flights, but also contain your ID, retina and fingerprint info. It would also have elements of Passbook, which is available in iOS 6 and collects your various tickets and reservations, allowing you to scan them for boarding and check-in.
  • Apple has released the nearest-to-final-as-you-can-get version of OS X Mountain Lion to Mac developers. Computerworld says based on previous releases that should mean OS X Mountain Lion will go on sale some time in the next two to three weeks.
  • 9to5Mac shows us a sly little workaround to getting Microsoft Office(s MSFT) for free on your Mac: use OnLive, the remote desktop streaming service.
  • How many iPhones did Apple sell between April and June this year? Fortune has the best educated guesses from those that follow Apple closely. We’ll find out the answer on July 24, when Apple reports earnings.