When speculating about the iPhone 6, I postulated that Apple could do something revolutionary and make a single LTE model that worked with multiple carriers. It didn't happen, but when I purchased my (second) iPhone 6 from Radio Shack, the clerk and I discussed how the technology is already there with LTE and SIM cards, and it would make inventory so much easier. Instead of stocking AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint models, stores could just stock the single SKU. It didn't happen with the iPhone 6, but today Apple did it with the iPad Air 2!
I greatly enjoyed today's Apple event introducing the new iPads and iOS 8.1. But I didn't get what I was hoping for: a new iPad mini with all the features of the new iPad Air 2. Yes, we got a new iPad mini 3, but apparently it's the same as the previous version with the addition of Touch ID. As you can see in this comparison chart, we now have five iPad models to choose from: iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad mini, iPad mini 2, and iPad mini 3. As is typical, the new iPads with more features have been introduced at the same price as the older models, and the price of the older models has dropped. Perhaps the biggest news is that the memory configurations of the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 now match those of the new iPhones: 16, 64, and 128 GB. That means for the 64 and 128 GB models you're paying $100 less than for a similar amount of memory in the earlier iPads. And both the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 come with a gold-colored option.
Earlier this year, when Apple's Eddy Cue said that "we've got the best product pipeline that I've seen in my 25 years at Apple," he apparently wasn't exaggerating. This year has been nothing short of spectacular for Apple, with the release of one innovative and impressive product after another. It would seem the creative spirit of Steve Jobs is alive and well in Cupertino California. As Tim Cook reiterated today, this is the "strongest lineup of products that Apple has ever had." Congratulations Mr. Cook, job well done. Now as Apple wraps up it's last major product announcement of 2014, let's take a quick look back at what a year it's been for this powerhouse company as it proves itself to be more cutting edge and more relevant than ever.
If you're like me, if Apple announced it, you gotta have it. In my case, it's for professional reasons. As an app developer, and writer for iPhone Life, I need to have access to the latest gear. But I also enjoy technology and don't like waiting! So, starting October 17, you can try to pre-order the items just announced today, but even that isn't a guarantee. I was online at 3 a.m. the day the iPhone 6 was supposed to be orderable, but it took a half hour to finally buy one.
As a former weather guy, one part of the Apple announcement today really sparked my interest. The new iPad Air 2 will include a barometer. This both excites and makes me wonder just how well this feature will be harnessed. It is likely this is the same sensor introduced in the iPhone 6, though I admit that I haven't been able to test apps leveraging the feature yet.
The iPad Air 2 was announced today, and many of its features were expected, but it wasn't clear quite how thin it would be. At 6.1mm, you could stack two of them on top of each other and it would be as thick as the original iPad. This makes the iPad Air 2 the thinnest tablet on the market. Apple claims the iPad Air 2 is the only one with an Anti-Reflective Coating.
Last month, and even before that at the WWDC event in June, Apple showed off a technology called Continuity. This promised to allow seamless integration between multiple iOS devices but also with Mac OS computers. A Keynote presentation could be started on an iPhone, continued on an iPad, and finished on a Mac.
Apple Pay was preannounced last month, but today Apple let us know when we can start using it. As of Monday, October 20, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners will be able to use the phone's Near Field Communication features to pay.
Don't Miss Our Oct. 16 Apple Announcement Coverage!
Tomorrow we will find out just what Apple meant in its event invitation when the company said, "It's been way too long." Will we see an iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3? A long overdue update to Apple TV? A revamped Mac mini? What about Apple's new HomeKit smart-home platform?
Once again I'm really looking forward to an announcement from Apple. Thursday's event will be live streamed and will likely introduce the next iPad Air and a new retina iMac. Beyond that, not much is known. The iPad Air 2 is expected to have Touch ID and an 8-megapixel camera. In addition, it's expected to come with the new A8 processor, which is remarkably more efficient than the previous A7, meaning the battery can be smaller while offering greater performance. The iPad Air 2 is also rumored to include an anti-reflective screen coating, which would be a nice feature. However, rumors say that the Apple is having problems producing this new type of display, which may constrain supplies of the new iPad for a while.
Even as Apple ramps up for another product announcement, it's still hard to get your hands on the last set of products they announced. The new iPad Air is expected to be in short supply, and the iPhone 6, especially the Plus-sized model is also playing hard to get. Given all the sizes (6 and 6 Plus), colors (silver, gold, and space gray), carriers (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, etc.) and memory combinations (16GB, 64GB, 128GB) it's remarkable if you can find the exact model you want, in stock, without settling for something else.
MacWorld has a storied history. It launched with the original Mac back in 1984, and was the closest thing to an official Apple magazine as there was. The MacWorld tradeshow, many of which I attended, was a chance to meet with Apple representatives, Apple fans, and suppliers without having to mingle with PC folk! So many of Apple's product announcements and turning points occurred at MacWorld and so many great writers contributed to the print magazine of the same name.
File this under "obvious" but it's inevitable that the next iPad will have Touch ID. After all, Apple's announcement invitation simply said "it's been way too long" and it's been too long without Apple adding that capability to the iPad, since the iPhone 5s and now iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have it. So the latest rumors out of China are not surprising, but it's nice to see a photo to make it more believable.
Apple had a lot to announce on September 9, even bringing Steve Jobs's "One More Thing" phrase out to introduce the Apple Watch. So it's understandable that updated iPads or Macs weren't discussed. However, another announcement is less than a week away on October 16.
Game Centered features roundups and in-depth reviews of the best in iOS games and related gaming news. This week we've got some great news for any core iOS gamers looking for great gaming gear, as well as a teaser for the upcoming Game of Thrones game, and a new word game that you are going to love from popular game developer Zynga.
Jony Ive, Apple's head of design for both software and more recently hardware, had a sit-down with Vanity Fair. You can read the transcript here but the point that stuck out for me was his disdain for copycats. In addition to a formal interview, there were questions from the audience. Here's one such exchange:
If you like to use the camera on your iPhone or iPad, one of the features you'll appreciate in iOS 8 is the ability to recover deleted photos. When you delete a photo, it remains available in the Recently Deleted album on your device for 30 days. If you decide that in fact you want to save a photo you deleted, you can easily recover it.
Apple's October 16 announcement invitation said "It's been way too long," but the latest rumors suggest we may have to wait a little longer for a 12.9-inch iPad. An iPad Pro has long been rumored, and makes sense, but Apple's focus now is on meeting the oversized demand of the iPhone 6 Plus. Rather than ask their suppliers to switch over to a larger display for a supersized iPad, Apple needs them to focus on the 5.5-inch screen iPhone 6 Plus, at least according to the Wall Street Journal.
Apple just sent out their invitations to members of the press for their October 16 Town Hall media event, where Tim Cook is widely expected to reveal Apple's latest iPads. Indeed, it's been quite the year for Apple. The invite has a rainbow-colored, linear Apple logo and reads simply, "It's been way too long." But what does this mean?