iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 Revealed

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I never thought I’d need a tablet until I got an iPad a few years ago. That not so little device opened up a ton of new working and multitasking options to me, especially in tandem with my iPhone and MacBook. It seems like the world is in love with iPads, which happens to be Apples best selling product. Good thing another two are on the way.

The imminent reveals of the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 have been pretty much common knowledge for a while, but Apple made everything official at a formal event today. Before diving right into the thick of things, Apple revealed that the new Mac OS, Yosemite, would be available for free on the App Store today. So, if you have a Mac, get upgrading.

The new iPad Air 2, which is launching in the USA next week, is featured filled. It’s lighter than the already insanely portable iPad Air, and also around 18% thinner. A new anti-glare coating will allow you to use the tablet in broad daylight without fumbling like a blind mouse. Or at least it will happen less far less.

On the inside, the iPad Air 2 will sport a new A8X chip, which is 40% faster than last year’s version. There’s also a bit of a bump to GPU output, which will make the hundreds of Apple exclusive games shine on a bigger screen. The Air 2 will have around 10 hours worth of battery life, include TouchID and support Apple Pay. It even comes with the new M8 chip from the iPhone 6, which tracks movement and pressure changes.

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On the back the new iPad will come standard with an 8MP iSight camera, making all those awkward tablet photos a little more crisp. You’ll still look ridiculous, however. The Air 2 can now capture 1080p HD video footage, as well as take 720p slow-motion video at 120FPS. There’s also burst selfies (OH HELL YES), single-shot HDR and HDR recording. A new, in-house photo and video editing tool, called Replay, was also launched for free on the App Store during the event.

The iPad Mini 3 far fewer changes. In fact, the inclusion of TouchID is the only difference this year, making it a fairly unsubstantial upgrade. It’s still the entire iPad experience in a smaller, more manageable size. If that’s a deciding factor.

Both new iPads launch next week in the USA, so expect them locally in a few months time. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are set to launch this month, marking the quickest announcement-to-launch period yet for Apple locally.

Apple’s new approach to their product family is rather interesting. Instead of thinking of the devices as separate, isolated experiences, Apple is instead approach their devices as the same product. The same product, with different screen sizes. The seamless connection between the Apple family is stronger than ever this year, and it’s reason enough to start looking this way again.

Last Updated: October 16, 2014

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