Apple today announced its second-generation iPad Air 2 and third-generation iPad mini 3 at its Town Hall Auditorium in Cupertino, California. While both devices are indeed impressive, Tim Cook and his team did not announce anything about the new tablets that wasn't already previously leaked. As expected, both the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 will ship with the same Touch ID fingerprint sensor found on the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus. This will allow iPad users to unlock their devices without having to type in a password, and give them the ability to make easy online and in-app purchases when using Apple Pay, which launches this Monday along with iOS 8.1.
The most noteworthy feature of the iPad Air 2 is once again its design. Apple managed to make the new tablet 18 percent less thinner (6.1mm thin and 0.96lb) than its predecessor while creating the "fastest, most powerful iPad ever". The second-generation iPad Air is powered by a new A8x chip that delivers 40 percent faster CPU performance, and it is equipped with a 2048‐by‐1536 resolution (264 ppi) Retina display with new anti-reflective coating that reduces glare by 56 percent.
The next generation iPad Air will definitely debut tomorrow and, considering some premature iTunes uploads, quite possibly the iPad mini 3. According to one analyst, the iPad Air 2 supplies could be limited.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, in a note to investors obtained by AppleInsider, wrote that production issues will likely limit the initial supply. Specifically, there are yield rate issues concerning the anti-reflective display coating on the new tablet, meaning a larger than expected amount of screens produced are defective. He expects anywhere from 7 to 9 million units to ship for launch. By comparison, 12 million iPad Air units shipped when it launched last year.
There was never any doubt that Apple planned to announce the iPad Air 2 tomorrow, but there was some uncertainty about the future of the iPad mini, until now. Apple has prematurely uploaded the iOS 8.1 iPad user guide to iTunes with details about the second-generation iPad Air and third-generation iPad mini.
As you can see from the screenshot posted above, both the next-generation iPad Air and iPad mini will ship with Touch ID. The leak also shows that the iPad Air iSight camera will now feature Burst Mode, and that the new tablets will be named the "iPad Air 2" and "iPad mini 3," like we have always expected.
Apple is set to announce the iPad Air 2 on October 16, and recent rumors are pointing to a October 24 launch for the new tablet. iPad owners who are planning to purchase the second-generation iPad Air should consider trading-in their older model now. Not only do trade-in prices drop after an official release, but NextWorth is currently offering an extra $10 for all iPad trade-ins when you use the promo code OCTIPAD10.
Trading-in your iPad is simple. Just visit NextWorth.com and select the iPad model you want to sell. Answer a few simple questions to get your instant quote and hit "Sell it now" button to lock-in your trade-in value.
Several weeks ago, rumors emerged that a beefed up A8 processor, the A8X, would power the iPad Pro, a 12.9" Retina display tablet expected to debut sometime in early 2015. Now a leaked photo has surfaced of a purported logic board for the next generation iPad Air sporting an A8X, suggesting we may see the new chip sooner than expected.
The photo, which was leaked by Apple.club.tw on Monday, not only shows an A8X processor, but what appears to be a 2GB Elpida RAM module as well. There has been speculation about the RAM upgrade, as there have been rumors that the new tablet will have split-screen multitasking functionality, which would require some extra horsepower. We'll know soon enough, as Apple is expected to unveil the new iPad Air at a media event this Thursday, October 16th.
There has been a noticeable lack of iPad mini leaks and rumors leading up to Apple's October 16th iPad keynote, making some believe that this is the end of the line for the 7-inch tablet. However today, the Japanese blog Macotakara reports that the smaller tablet will make an appearance alongside its larger counterpart at Apple's press conference on Thursday.
One reason for that lack of iPad mini 3 rumors could be that the upcoming refresh isn't that exciting. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in April that the next-generation iPad mini may only receive a new processor and Touch ID, as opposed to the iPad Air 2 which is rumored to be getting a redesign, its own A8X chip, 2GB of RAM and other notable upgrades.
"...We previously thought Apple would not release a new version of the iPad mini this year, but we now think Apple will launch an upgraded version with same form factor, A8 processor and Touch ID (fingerprint recognition) to boost shipments of iPad mini with Retina display."
Apple is set to unveil its new iPad lineup on October 16, 2014. The company sent out invitations to select members of the press on Wednesday announcing that the event will be held at 10:00am Pacific at Apple's Town Hall Auditorium in Cupertino, California. The iPad keynote will also be streamed live on Apple.com and Apple TV. You can see a complete list of rumored iPad Air 2 specs here.
Will.i.am is also holding his own event in San Francisco on Thursday. The Black Eyed Peas frontman plans to launch his own smartwatch to directly compete with the Apple Watch. The new wearable device will run Google's Android operating system and feature a curved display, according to the Telegraph. The watch will also ship with its own music service and will not require a smartphone for full functionality, like other smartwatches on the market.
Flo is back in the latest free-to-play version of Diner Dash for mobile devices. The "2015 Edition" is the first release from Glu Mobile, who acquired the original Diner Dash publisher PlayFirst in May 2014. The iOS version is basically the same time management game we have all come to love with in-app purchases. It features over 90 levels of soul crushing servitude, three environments and over 20 customers with distinctive personalities. The game is available now on the App Store for all devices running iOS 7.0 or later.
Here's a quick look at the rest of the noteworthy apps and games released for the iPad through 10/05/14 to 10/11/14. Apple's Free App of the Week is Jellies!. The game will be free on the Apple App Store until 10/16/14. Also don't forget to check out our weekly App Store recap every Saturday for all the weekly universal releases, jailbreak tweaks, App Store news and important app updates.
Lets look at the rumored specs of the next-generation iPad Air now that Apple has officially announced its final keynote for 2014.
The second-generation iPad Air 2 is not expected to get a drastic redesign like the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, but various leaks have shown that it will be slightly thinner (7mm thick) than its predecessor, and that it will feature recessed volume buttons, a Touch ID fingerprint sensor like the iPhone 5s, and redesigned speakers / microphone. The new iPad will also be available in gold for the first time, according to Bloomberg.
As expected, Apple has sent out invites for its latest media event which is being held Thursday, October 16th at 10:00am Pacific / 1pm Eastern. The invitations read: “It’s been way too long," and asks select members of the press to attend the keynote at Apple's Town Hall Auditorium in Cupertino, California.
Apple is expected to announce its new iPad lineup, which will include a thinner iPad Air 2 and possible 12.9-inch iPad Pro, at the event (see images of the alleged iPad Air 2 here). The second-generation iPad Air is expected to feature recessed volume buttons, Touch ID, a relocated microphone, a new A8 or A8X chip and possibly 2GB of RAM . It is still unclear if Apple plans to announce a third-generation iPad mini this year.