Apple Updates iPads Ahead of March 25 Services Event

In the 106th episode of the iPhone Life Podcast, David, Donna, and Sarah share an overview of Apple's brand new iPad Air and iPad mini and explore the tradeoffs of the five tablets the tech giant now offers. They also discuss what to expect from Apple's March 25 services announcement based on the latest rumors. Tune in next week for a special episode immediately following the Apple Announcement. Note: After this episode was recorded, Apple announced the release of new AirPods with a wireless charging case.

Click here to listen and subscribe. If you like what you hear, be sure to leave a review. And remember to tune in every other week to hear our editors share with you the latest Apple news, best apps, iPhone tricks, and coolest accessories. 

This episode was brought to you by SOULSure, your iPhone will track your steps and your Apple Watch will help you monitor your heart rate, but what if you could have a personalized coach with you at all times? Now you can, with Blade Ultimate A.I. Fitness Wireless Earphones by Soul Electronics. Powered by BiomechEngine artificial intelligence, the Blade earbuds give you real-time feedback on your performance along with personalized coaching for things like injury prevention and improved performance. 

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Questions of the week:

  1. For those of you who are planning to watch Apple’s March 25 announcement, send any questions or comments by 2 p.m. CST, on the day of the announcement and we’ll answer and discuss them. Email
  2. Do you guys have any shortcuts that you love? Share them with us at
  3. Are you excited about the new iPads? Which one will you get and why? Email to let us know.

Articles referred to in this episode:

Transcript of Episode 106:

Donna Cleveland:             Hello and welcome to episode 106 of the iPhone Life Podcast. I'm Donna Cleveland, editor in chief at iPhone Life.

David Averbach:                I'm [David Averbach 00:00:12], CEO and publisher.

Sarah Kingsbury:               And I'm Sarah Kingsbury, senior web editor.

Donna Cleveland:             Each episode we bring to you the best apps, top tips and great gear in the iOS world. And this episode will be also having a four i-new section because Apple has its March 25th event a week from today or a week from yesterday. And so we'll be getting new services announcements and we'll also be talking about the new iPads that Apple just announced. So we're pretty excited about that. At first we want to tell you about our sponsor.

David Averbach:                Yeah. And I'm excited to tell you about the sponsor because it's a new sponsor and I haven't had a chance to tell you about it yet. And it's SOUL Electronics and they produce really awesome headphones. So the product I'm going to tell you about today is actually in Indiegogo right now. So it's being released soon. And by what that means is it's a really awesome deal. So it's called the SOUL Blade Ultimate. And what makes it cool, it's a wireless earbud, so you get to wireless earbuds, one in each ear and in addition to having really great sound quality, it comes built in with an AI fitness coach that can help you while you're training. So it has cues to give you while you're running, while you're working out. And it also has a heart rate monitor, which is how the AI is working to monitor your fitness level.

David Averbach:                I really like it because I'm always, when I'm running trying to stay in the right heart rate zone because I have a tendency of wanting to push myself but not wanting to push myself too hard. And so having kind of an AI cue sounds really exciting to me. Also really good deal right now. So it is 40% off. It's $149 right now. So we will link to the Indiegogo link so you can go check it out. If you go to

Donna Cleveland:             And I also wanted to remind you before we start talking about the event next week that we'll be doing a podcast immediately following the event. So tune in next Monday, March 25th to hear our live commentary unpacking everything that Apple announces. Also go and if you're not already part of our Facebook group, if you type in iPhone Life group into Facebook you can request to join our Facebook group and we'll also be having live commentary throughout the event there and you can post any questions you have and we will try to address as many as we can during the podcast.

David Averbach:                And just to plug the Facebook group a little bit because I feel like we don't talk about it enough on the podcast. It's so awesome. It's a really great place to connect with our greater community. It's also really nice place to ask any questions to the community that you have, people are always asking different APP recommendations or troubleshooting things and our community is really great at responding, so make sure you check that out. Not only because I will be in there giving my live reactions during the announcement, but also, it's just a really fun community to be part of if you're on Facebook. So.

Donna Cleveland:             Yes, so definitely check it out. Next up, I want to share our favorite tip of the week. This is from my iPhone Life Daily Tips newsletter. It's a daily newsletter where you learn something cool you can do with your phone in just one minute a day. So we'll send a tip to your inbox and in the podcast we share our favorite one from the week. Mine is how to switch Bluetooth devices in control center. So if you use any Bluetooth devices, in the past it used to be a real pain to switch between devices. If you're playing audio on your phone, you had to go into the settings APP and spend some time fiddling around there to try to switch to a different device. But now you can just open control center, which if you have an iPhone X or later, you're swiping down from the right corner. If you have an earlier device, you're swiping up from the bottom of your screen to access your control center.

Donna Cleveland:             And that of course just has a screen full of all of your most basic settings. And from there you'll see an audio player. So if you just press and hold that on an older device or if you hard press it on a newer device, then it'll pop out and show you an option to tap on the device that your audio is streaming to. And there you'll see a list of all of your other options so you can just tap and switch to a different device from there. So, when you pop out the audio player, it's a little like circular icon. It has three circles and that's where you touch.

David Averbach:                It looks almost like a radio symbol.

Donna Cleveland:             Yeah. [crosstalk 00:04:35].

David Averbach:                Yeah. If you have any airplay devices, one of the things I like about it is it's in the same spot, so you can actually switch between airplay and Bluetooth on it. So.

Donna Cleveland:             Oh yeah, that's nice. I don't have any airplay devices, so. But, yeah, so if you want to get tips like that, go to and it's a free newsletter. We highly recommend it. Next step. I want to tell you about our Insider premium subscription. For those of you who are not familiar with it, iPhone Life Insider is an awesome way to get the most out of your device and really feel comfortable using your iPhone and know that you're making the most of the experience. We have free, sorry, it's not free. It's our premium subscription. You get our video guides, you get our video versions of our daily tips. You get premium, a premium version of this podcast. So you get exclusive content and none of the promotions like we're doing right now. You also get, ask an editor. So if you're having any type of tech problems, you can email us and we'll help walk you through to find a solution and you get a digital subscription to our magazine and a full access to our archive. So is where you can go to sign up. David, do you have any recent Insiders too?

David Averbach:                I forgot to look that up. And just to be clear, we have our new URL, which-

Donna Cleveland:             oh yeah.

David Averbach:                ... we're going to have five dollars off-

Donna Cleveland:             Just for our podcast listeners.

David Averbach:                And I am blank on the URL. Do you remember what it is?

Donna Cleveland:             Yeah. It's

David Averbach:                Yeah,, almost made you pay the full price there people. No, I forgot to look up the people who subscribed this week, but to everyone who subscribed from that podcast link or anybody who subscribed at all, thank you so much. We really appreciate it. As I've been saying recently on the podcast, we're an independent company. We're not associated with Apple. iPhone Life insider is how we make our money. So we are dedicated to providing you with quality iPhone content, quality tips, making sure we're teaching you how to use your phone, you get all these awesome things in the Insider program, but also you're supporting us, allowing us to continue having the podcast, to continue covering the announcement. So we really appreciate everybody who subscribes. If you are listening to this and you are interested, please go check it out.

Donna Cleveland:             Next we're going to have Sarah share one of our Insider questions of the week and how she helped them find a solution.

Sarah Kingsbury:               So this Insider wrote me and asked if I knew of any tutorials for the shortcuts app and any ideas on how to combine shortcuts into a workflow. So, there's not really, I mean I'm not sure what this Insider meant by combining into a workflow except for maybe like creating a lot of different sort of tasks that happen sequentially or together in a shortcut because the workflow app is now the shortcuts app. If you had any workflow things set up with the workflow app when you, they're now part of your shortcuts app. So honestly when we started working on covering, how to use shortcuts, we discovered that a lot of people who were putting out articles on how to use shortcuts and videos actually didn't know and they would leave out really important steps that were kind of essential for making the shortcut work.

Sarah Kingsbury:               I worked with one of our writers Tamlin on creating a sort of basic intro on how to use the shortcuts app and how to kind of start creating your own. So I sent this Insider link to that article, and I will share it. And we also have an article up on five basic shortcuts that actually a reader turned contributor wrote, [Jim Meeker 00:08:30] and it's really good. And Apple also has a shortcuts user guide, which honestly is not as good as our article because it's so, Apple's never really great at breaking down their complicated things into easy to understand to follow steps, but I'll include that link as well. But basically if you want to get really good at using shortcuts, what you have to do is you go into the gallery in your shortcuts app and find shortcuts that do the same thing or a similar thing to what you want to do in your shortcut. And it might just be one part of what you want to do in your shortcut. And you can add that to your library.

Sarah Kingsbury:               And once it's in your library, go in and tap on the three little dots in the upper right circle of that shortcut. And you'll see all of the steps and commands that they use to create that shortcut. And then you can modify those shortcuts in your own shortcut or you can just modify that shortcut yourself and just play around with that. And also when you're building a shortcut, there's actually a search function. And if you kind of just search like the sort of the name of the APP you want to use or the function you want to use, often some pretty cool options will come up and so really you just kind of need to play with it. You need to kind of think about exactly ahead of time what you're really trying to accomplish with it because sometimes there are simpler ways to do things than you kind of think, but really just start looking and taking apart other people's shortcuts and that is the fastest way to teach yourself how to use shortcuts.

Donna Cleveland:             I totally agree. I was going to say, I think it's really cool including the article on our website how a roundups of shortcuts will let you download the shortcut to your phone.

Sarah Kingsbury:               Yeah. And you can share them with other people too, which is really cool. If you create a shortcut that's really useful, then you can share it with other people and they can either use it themselves or use what you did and customize it for themselves. And it's really great.

Donna Cleveland:             Yeah. Because like you'll want to customize it most likely to yourself, but they're not that easy to set up, especially complex ones. So it's nice to just benefit from someone else's work, I think.

Sarah Kingsbury:               Right. Actually, I think one of the most useful shortcut things I learned was how to disconnect two steps in the shortcut so that one doesn't have to happen before the other one. And I can't remember now how I did it, but that's really handy because some things you don't want to depend on other things. You want them both to happen kind of unrelated. You don't want your, I have a shortcut that sends a text and starts some driving directions and turns on a podcast and none of those things need to depend on one of them being done before it can start. And when they were connected, it actually caused me problems. So it's like playing with those sorts of things and figuring out what to connect and whatnot to connect. It's pretty ...

David Averbach:                Do either of you have any shortcuts that you use regularly?

Sarah Kingsbury:               Yeah, I do. I have one that, it's basically like trying to get things done one, so I tell Siri like it's time to get some stuff done. I can't remember my exact Siri phrase right now and I don't usually say it out loud because I'm usually working with other people around, that's weird. And so it puts, do not disturb my phone. It asks me how long I'm going to work. And so it sets do not disturb for that long and then turns it off at the end of it. It starts playing like LoFi hip hop instrumentals-

David Averbach:                That's amazing.

Sarah Kingsbury:               And that sounds pretty simple, but there's actually like a number of different things that are happening in that. And I use that all the time when I want to just really focus for a couple of hours. And the other one I use is, my partner lives about an hour and a half away and I like to have my navigation turned on even though at this point I've driven there like a million times, just because it's easy to kind of zone out listening to your podcast or something like that. So when I tell my phone, like, Hey Siri, I'm going to this person's house, it pulls up directions. It sends him a text message letting him know I'm on my way. It turns on my driving podcast playlist and tells me how long until I get there.

Donna Cleveland:             Yeah, that sounds super handy. I have played around in the shortcuts app a little bit, but I haven't actually made it part of my routine and [crosstalk 00:13:05].

David Averbach:                No, I mean, to be honest, just, I heard so much [inaudible 00:13:11] complaining, so much frustration from Sarah and Tamlin as they were working on this article that it scared me away from doing shortcuts at all. And so I haven't, because it's just like the ROI, it hasn't felt like it's just there as far as my time to figure it out. But I'm curious, like I want to mess around with it now.

Sarah Kingsbury:               A lot of the shortcuts are kind of silly because they're things you could just tell Siri to do in the first place. Like I could just tell Siri like, Hey, get me directions to this person's house. Right? And so I don't need to shortcut that just as that. And a lot of the shortcuts in the gallery are like that. But that's why the only reason I find them useful is because I can take this shortcut and part of that shortcut that do these things that Siri could do on its own and stitch them together into one shortcut. So I only have to say one thing to Siri and like five different things happen.

David Averbach:                Yeah, totally.

Sarah Kingsbury:               And so you could, for your smart home set up something like that.

David Averbach:                I know. [crosstalk 00:14:09].

Donna Cleveland:             Yeah. If you have smart home products, the shortcuts app gets a lot more interesting because we just had someone write an article about his top five short cuts. And one of them was a night time routine that, it turned on Bluetooth and dimmed, or it turned off, it dimmed his phone and it started playing ocean sounds through his Amazon Alexa because that's what he uses to go to bed. It turned off the lights, it locked his front door, like things like that. And I was like, that would be really cool to string those all together. I mean.

Sarah Kingsbury:               I mean right now I have my smart lights sort of on a schedule, but if I go to bed earlier, they don't need to be on for a couple more hours. And so just telling Siri that I'm going to bed and setting all those things in motion instead of it being on a schedule would actually probably be better.

David Averbach:                Yeah. Totally.

Donna Cleveland:             Yeah. And just to clarify, they're like already, some of these things I'm like, wait, but you can already do these things. Like you can set up scenes with your smart home already and have a nighttime scene. But this allowed him to do some actions on his phone too. It wasn't like all smart home products. So it was nice to be able to tie that all together with that shortcut.

Sarah Kingsbury:               That's where the shortcuts app really shines. Because like Donna said, there's so many things that you put that you can just do anyway, but when you start combining different things then it becomes incredibly useful and also awesome when you kind of figure it out and your shortcut works, you're kind of like, that's right. Yeah. I'm awesome. Look what I did.

David Averbach:                It seems like that's a big part of the benefit is the enjoyment of like, and I totally love that. When you like geek out and you get it just right, so you can just be, good morning Siri and like everything happens perfectly. Even though you could have just said, do this, do this, do this. You know what I mean?

Donna Cleveland:             Yeah.

Sarah Kingsbury:               There was an entire weekend where instead of playing Pokemon Go, and I think we all know how much I love Pokemon Go.

David Averbach:                Yeah. We all know.

Sarah Kingsbury:               I played the shortcuts app instead.

David Averbach:                I have another question of the week that I would like to have, but can I petition for two questions a week and make this one one of them? Which is-

Donna Cleveland:             I'm curious what your other one is because I also have a question.

David Averbach:                Oh Man. I was going to ask about the iPads and which ones people want. Are we going to have free?

Donna Cleveland:             [crosstalk 00:16:23]. Okay. We might.

David Averbach:                Okay. Lots of questions. We love your emails. Do you guys have any shortcuts that you love? Send them to us and also go to and Sarah will link to her famous article on how to use this.

Donna Cleveland:             Yeah, and secrets [crosstalk 00:16:41].

Sarah Kingsbury:               Okay. It's not my article. I want to be clear. Tamlin Day did the vast majority of work writing this article and it was a lot of work, so he deserves a huge amount of credit.

David Averbach:                Tamlin's article that Sarah has now made famous.

Donna Cleveland:             Yes. So, but I'm really curious to hear how people are using shortcuts at home. So I hope you guys answer this question. Next I want to share a comment from one of our listeners. I was excited. It was an email specifically to me, which I don't know why, I just must be more memorable on the podcast than you guys.

Sarah Kingsbury:               I mean, we knew that, it's true.

David Averbach:                Oh, yeah.

Donna Cleveland:             So this is from Richard and he is a not very happy Apple user right now. He was saying how he agrees that while Apple is running on significant inertia, they seem to be slipping and maintaining user loyalty. And so his basic jest, we talked about last episode about this upcoming announcement. So I should remind you guys if you didn't listen to the last episode, Apple is expected to announce streaming services next week. That they will have a subscription service for TV and for news and magazine services. And so this is a different approach for Apple to be really moving into services instead of products. And David especially, was the one who wasn't that excited about this.

David Averbach:                Yes, this is true.

Donna Cleveland:             So, but Richard very much agrees. And he also, we talked about Siri and Alexa last episode I believe and he's saying Alexa rules the personal assistant world and that he's very disappointed in Siri. Furthermore, considering their services announcement coming up in March, Apple seems to be getting away from being a devices company. When I watch the Google and Android announcements and look at their phones etc, Apple better be coming up with some trendsetting devices or we'll be seeing a lot of loyal users jumping ship. That's my two cents. I feel like, I mean while I agree that I'm not as excited about services as products from Apple, I don't think I have as cream of a view as Richard does, what about you guys?

David Averbach:                I think, I mean I'm sort of trying to just bite my tongue and wait til I actually hear the announcement before I get really judgey about it all. I'm definitely concerned, I share Richard's concerns about the long term trajectory of Apple right now. They feel like they don't exactly have a clear direction and the direction they're taking seems to be, let's try to diversify and make money as opposed to be a visionary company that releases innovative, groundbreaking products, which is I think why most of us love Apple. So I'm concerned with that, but I'm sort of trying to be patient with that. The one thing I do disagree with Richard a little bit on actually is the Siri versus Alexa debate. And I think maybe it's a little bit of a hot take. So I'm in the minority on this because I think the general consensus is that Alexa is leading the industry on this.

David Averbach:                But I have an Alexa, I have an Alexa Dot. And I have a HomePod and I love my HomePod so much more than my Alexa Dot. And part of it is of course the integrations with Apple, which Apple always has the advantage on. But also I just found it a lot easier to use. I find Alexa doesn't understand me that well. And I just, like setting up my home devices on Alexa was more complicated than on home kit. I've been honestly happier with my HomePod. So disagree with Richard on that one. But in general I share his concerns.

Sarah Kingsbury:               Yeah. First of all, my partner has an android device and it's a really nice one and I still think my phone's better. So even if Apple is not like being cutting edge, I still just think the experience of using my iPhone continues to be better. But as far as Alexa versus HomePod goes, Google Play is way better than Alexa and in some ways it's better than HomePod [inaudible 00:20:37] but in other ways HomePod is actually better than Google play just as a speaker, although you can get nice speakers now with Google play, but where it really shines is, again, once you have HomeKit going and you have smart home devices, all of a sudden your HomePod is a thousand times more useful. So, I don't know, but I am disappointed with the HomePod still.

David Averbach:                Yeah, I agree that there's room for improvement.

Sarah Kingsbury:               We can all pile on to Alexa I'm fine with that.

David Averbach:                I have just to complain about the Alexa Echo whatever. I have HomeKit set up on my HomePod and then I have my Philip Hue lights set up. They're set up on both and whenever I try to use it on Alexa, I'll go, turn off the light in so and so's room and it'll just say, I don't know what light you're talking about. And no, I cannot find a way to figure out how to tell it the right light. And it's to the point where I've completely stopped using it because-

Donna Cleveland:             That's really annoying.

David Averbach:                ... it's useless and I've googled it and it seems to be a lot of people have this exact problem. It's driving me crazy and it's really making me judge Amazon.

Sarah Kingsbury:               One other thing that I really think the HomePod is better than the Alexa and Google play at is that even though I have named all of my smart lights and all those things, if I'm say in my bedroom, I just have to say turn off my light and my bedroom light gets turned off even though I have a bunch of lights. So HomePod has that context knowing where I am.

Donna Cleveland:             That's cool.

Sarah Kingsbury:               Yeah, and that's really super cool.

David Averbach:                Yeah, I love that. And the other thing I like, and I don't know, this might work on other devices too, but I can string together lights so I can say, turn off the light in my bedroom and in my closet and it'll turn both of them off, which is really nice.

Donna Cleveland:             Oh, you're making me kind of want a HomePod actually.

David Averbach:                I like it a lot more now that I have smart devices in my home for sure.

Sarah Kingsbury:               Volume control continues to suck, I'm just going to put that out there.

Donna Cleveland:             And the alarms. I've heard you talk a lot about the terrible sounding alarms, right?

David Averbach:                Yes.

Sarah Kingsbury:               Yes.

Donna Cleveland:             Okay. So moving right along, let's get into the new section, we're going to spend the rest of this episode talking about next week's announcement and the new iPads. So first let's talk about next week's announcement. It's going to be at 12:00 PM Eastern, no, it is going to be a 10:00 AM Eastern time. We're in central time, so it's going to be [crosstalk 00:22:54]-

Sarah Kingsbury:               No it's going to be at 10:00 AM Pacific time.

Donna Cleveland:             God, thank you Sarah. Okay. Let's clarify this for people. So it is 10:00 AM Pacific time.

David Averbach:                Yes.

Sarah Kingsbury:               Correct.

Donna Cleveland:             Noon central time. That's where we are.

David Averbach:                And for the record, that'd be 1:00 PM Eastern standard time.

Donna Cleveland:             It was too difficult for me this morning. And so we are expecting Apple to announce two services. One is going to be a TV subscription service and the other is going to be a news subscription service, definitely magazines but possibly also newspapers bundled into that as well. So I know David you have been doing some research on this announcement on the latest rumors, you want to jump in?

David Averbach:                Yeah. Absolutely. Well I think the big one seems to be Apple getting into the TV world. And there was a recent, I'm pulling out my notes here. There was a recent article by New York Times, it seemed to actually leak quite a bit, which was surprising. So I'm just going to kind of summarize what that article said. We can link to it as well, but basically one of the things we're debating in the last time we talked about this was whether Apple was going to release some sort of technological solution for streaming television or whether they were going to release original content. And it sounds like they're leaning heavily on the original content side. So that's the first big rumor that we're hearing.

Donna Cleveland:             I'm excited about that. Like, I know [crosstalk 00:24:25].

David Averbach:                Yeah, it's funny because I really wanting to be annoyed at Apple, but then I was, I'm going to read to you guys some of the rumored shows that are coming out and they sound great. And so I'm annoyed at how great they sound. I'm sure I will watch them and I will hate Apple while I enjoy the shows. Just kidding.

Donna Cleveland:             Just because you have to pay for another service to get this original content or what?

David Averbach:                It's more the point that our listener, Richard said, which is, a good show is a good show and I'm going to enjoy it and I love Apple. So sorry if I'm ... I don't hate Apple. Please don't send me emails. But it's just that why I love Apple is because they create great consumer electronics and I don't know that the world needs another Netflix. I think the world needs another groundbreaking device such as iPad or iPhone in the past Apple's done. So that's my, I'm sure you'll be able to read my complaining up ad about it coming out soon. But here let me read to you guys some of these shows. There's an untitled series with Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell.

Donna Cleveland:             That sounds good.

David Averbach:                Too awesome. Great. I love Steve Carell. A mystery show starring activist Spencer. A Scifi show by Ronald Moore who was the producer of Outlander and Battlestar Galactica. There's a fantasy epic starring Jason Momoa, who is from Aquaman and Game of Thrones.

Sarah Kingsbury:               So, basically-

David Averbach:                I'm there for that.

Sarah Kingsbury:               ... it's his will house. If you have a fantasy epic, you kind of have to put him in it?

Donna Cleveland:             Yeah.

David Averbach:                Yeah. He has to be in it and he is. M. Night Shyamalan is coming out with a thriller. He did The Sixth Sense and a lot of other movies that were not as good as a Sixth Sense.

Donna Cleveland:             Although Sixth Sense and not the most recent one was awful.

David Averbach:                Yeah.

Donna Cleveland:             Glass. [crosstalk 00:26:08].

David Averbach:                In general, I feel like he had a moment and his moment seems to have passed in terms of the quality of his production. Little America from the writers of The Big Sick. I love The Big Sick.

Sarah Kingsbury:               I love it. [crosstalk 00:26:20]-

Donna Cleveland:             [crosstalk 00:26:20].

David Averbach:                I think that's one of the better movies to come out recently.

Sarah Kingsbury:               I hate Rom-Coms and that was great.

David Averbach:                Yeah.

Donna Cleveland:             It was so good.

David Averbach:                I love Rom-Coms just [crosstalk 00:26:26]. And a comedy from the duo behind, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I thought there were four of them, so I don't know which two are making this, but there is a comedy coming out. So that's sort of the big picture. I'm sure we'll hear a lot more about it. There were some interesting little tidbits though about kind of how it's all unfolding that I thought was worth sharing. First of all, apparently Apple meet Hollywood is not going particularly smoothly. Hollywood is very much complaining about Apple's ironclad privacy agreements and a lot of people are on shows that they don't know when it's coming out or even like what the show's going to be named or how it's going to be promoted, which is very not Hollywood apparently. And so there's some conflict there.

David Averbach:                There's also some conflict around, this one's interesting, using Apple products in the shows because Apple I guess is wanting to make sure that people are using their products, but it's out of conflict of interest. And the other one which feels like kind of a pretty interesting conflict of interest is Apple is really concerned about protecting its image and has been kind of being proactive about anything that's overly negative in the shows, which is kind of hard if you're making TV shows. Like, apparently there were, I don't know, there was some satanic references in one of the shows Apple's trying to out.

Donna Cleveland:             I did read something about how Apple, like it's service was going to be more like family friendly content or something. Is that kind of?

David Averbach:                I think so.

Donna Cleveland:             Which, like already that kind of bugs me.

Sarah Kingsbury:               That's interesting too because it seems like all the other streaming services are going the opposite direction. They're like, how many more people can we have be naked in this scene? Like how much more blood can we add?

David Averbach:                Well, in one of the major benefits in my opinion or reasons for the success of HBO and Netflix and all of those is because they were liberated from having to be on cable television where you had all these restrictions and they could produce good television that wasn't under the same restrictions. So yeah, it is interesting. I think a lot of this, part of what's interesting to me is a lot of this is the conflict between Apple as a consumer electronics company and Apple as whatever Apple's going to be moving forward. And how do those two things mix is going to be really interesting because Apple for the foreseeable future, will make the majority of its money through its consumer electronics. So that has to be its focus and they don't want to do, I would imagine they don't want to do anything that's going to mess that up as far as their image, their brand. But how do you produce television that doesn't have anything that is negative?

Donna Cleveland:             Yeah.

David Averbach:                So it'll be interesting.

Donna Cleveland:             That seems bizarre to me, but, oh so, we'll see what happens next Monday. Remember we're doing a podcast directly following it where the three of us will first of all fill you in on everything that happened if you didn't tune in to the event and then give you our analysis of what to make of it and whether we think it's worth more, we'll let you know when these services will be available and whether we think it's worth going for it or not depending on your situation. But, so let's talk about these iPads. We also, yesterday Apple announced a new iPad Air and a new, the iPad mini 5, which I know a lot of our readers have written in to Sarah at letting her know that they really, really wanted the new iPad mini so people will be excited about that.

Sarah Kingsbury:               Do you know that this is the first iPad mini since 2015?

David Averbach:                Wow.

Donna Cleveland:             Jeez.

Sarah Kingsbury:               And people had basically decided there was never going to be an iPad mini and maybe Apple had decided that too.

Donna Cleveland:             I was thinking that, like this iPad mini was old.

Sarah Kingsbury:               Yeah. I mean it was a pretty reasonable conclusion. I think Apple really wanted to push people towards their plus size phones, but people who love the iPad mini or the people who love the iPhone SE and Apple finally realized I should give them what they want.

David Averbach:                I think one before you get into summarizing these, one of the things I'm salty about is the fact that Apple has an announcement next week and they are, consumer electronics have taken such a backseat. They literally announced it in a press release.

Donna Cleveland:             I know.

David Averbach:                ... a week before an announcement.

Sarah Kingsbury:               But these are exciting things. They're just like-

Donna Cleveland:             [crosstalk 00:30:37].

Sarah Kingsbury:               ... refreshes of like not very exciting products.

David Averbach:                I know, but I'm salty about it anyway.

Donna Cleveland:             It is an interesting minute to pause and be like, oh, okay, Apple is pivoting in some ways, the way of doing things. It's like new and updated product line is way less important than these services suddenly.

Sarah Kingsbury:               I'm still hoping they'll be like, ta-da! Here's our AirPods 2 with the airpower [inaudible 00:31:01].

Donna Cleveland:             I wish.

David Averbach:                [crosstalk 00:31:02].

Sarah Kingsbury:               I doubt it. I think that's-

David Averbach:                I'll bet you.

Sarah Kingsbury:               I mean, I didn't think the iPad mini was going to happen, so I'm going to keep dreaming.

David Averbach:                There you go.

Sarah Kingsbury:               Yeah, so they released a new iPad Air 10.5 inches. The last time they updated that was in, well they discontinued it in 2016 when they released the original iPad Pro. So it's been three years. And then the iPad mini is 7.9 inches. So what's really cool is both of these have Apple Pencil support and in addition, the iPad Air-

Donna Cleveland:             The old iPad Pencil, Apple Pencil.

Sarah Kingsbury:               Yes.

Donna Cleveland:             Which is interesting.

Sarah Kingsbury:               I mean I'm very happy with my old Apple Pencil. It works just fine for me. And also the iPad Air has smart keyboard support, so-

Donna Cleveland:             Oh, that's cool.

Sarah Kingsbury:               And then they have the A12 chip, bionic chip, which is in their iPhone XS and yeah, and also, what else? I'm looking at my notes. They're supposed to be three times faster processing power. I mean it's been so long. Of course they're going to be that much faster. But yeah, but they have the latest chip, they have retina displays, they have Apple Pencil support. So it's pretty nice refresh.

David Averbach:                Well, they sort of have the latest chip because the iPad Pro has the 12X chip. Correct?

Sarah Kingsbury:               Yeah.

Donna Cleveland:             So it has a better chip.

David Averbach:                The iPad Pro has a better chip. It has support, because one of the things I think is important is to distinguish between the iPad Pro and the Air. It has a better chip, but like 12 and 12X probably isn't like worlds of difference. It has support for Apple pencil too, obviously it has face id and no home button. Which then allows you to have that bigger screen and I think it has a nice retina display.

Donna Cleveland:             Has an OLED display. The iPad pro, does.

David Averbach:                The iPad Pro, no, no. It has a liquid retina display.

Donna Cleveland:             Oh, yeah.

David Averbach:                Yeah. It's a very-

Donna Cleveland:             OLED would be so expensive in an iPad.

David Averbach:                Yeah. I've been very impressed by the liquid retina display, but it's not OLED. But is this a liquid retina dinosaur?

Donna Cleveland:             I don't know, it's retina.

Sarah Kingsbury:               No. It didn't say, it's just the true tone LED display. But considering that it's been years since its devices were refreshed, if you've been using either of these ones and you decide to update, I think you're going to be blown away.

David Averbach:                Well and I think the, I mean to me the iPad mini is a class of its own because if you want that size there's nothing else to compete. I feel like most people either want the iPad mini or they want a larger size and that's going to be your purchase decision. But the interesting one to me is the Air because the Air and the Pro are pretty comparable in terms of the use cases for them, I think. And so why someone would buy one versus the other is [crosstalk 00:33:43].

Sarah Kingsbury:               Well, I'll tell you why.

David Averbach:                Okay.

Sarah Kingsbury:               Because it's starting at 499 for the Wifi version.

David Averbach:                Yeah. Versus 999, right?

Sarah Kingsbury:               Right.

Donna Cleveland:             Yeah. So it's a 399, the starting price is 399 for the mini, 499 for the Air. So we have five iPads now to choose from.

Sarah Kingsbury:               Right.

Donna Cleveland:             And we've got the two iPad Pros and we've got the 2018 iPad, which, what does started at? Like 300 something, in that range.

Sarah Kingsbury:               I feel like I paid 350 [crosstalk 00:34:10].

David Averbach:                They're keeping that one.

Donna Cleveland:             Yeah.

David Averbach:                Okay.

Sarah Kingsbury:               Well, actually I'm sure I paid more than that because I got the 256 gigabytes of storage.

Donna Cleveland:             Oh okay. Yeah. But I think it's interesting now because there's all these different weird trade offs. Like the iPad Pro is awesome but it's so expensive and it also doesn't have a headphone jack and it's using USBC, which at this point, like I think in the future that'll be nice because USBC is expected to be universal across a lot of devices but right now that's not that convenient. Whereas these updated devices still have lightening and the headphone jack.

Sarah Kingsbury:               Right. Did either of you also think about Apple's ridiculously complicated MacBook line when you saw how they'd added two more iPads and now there's so many different options and trying to figure out like I don't know, they're making things complicated.

Donna Cleveland:             [crosstalk 00:35:02] making me [crosstalk 00:35:03].

David Averbach:                I mean we cover this for a living and I have a hard time keeping track of the many trade offs between the many different iPad and Macs that are out there.

Donna Cleveland:             Yeah. We should have an upcoming episode where we just devote like figuring out which iPad you should buy from the five that we have.

Sarah Kingsbury:               And I know we don't really cover MacBooks, but maybe we should also be like, and like here's how to figure out what the heck is going on with MacBooks.

Donna Cleveland:             Yeah, its true.

David Averbach:                Yeah, it's true.

Sarah Kingsbury:               So continuing with the iPad thing now, in a sort of related thing. Next week Apple will be updating their iWork suite which is kind of their version of Google's G Suite and Microsoft Office, to give Apple pencil integration.

Donna Cleveland:             Oh, that's cool.

David Averbach:                That's cool.

Sarah Kingsbury:               Yeah. And I guess there's going to be animation options with that in keynote. And so I think that will be cool. I think there's actually not that many cool uses if you're not drawing for the Apple Pencil beyond just not touching your screen. So I'm glad that they are doing that.

Donna Cleveland:             Yeah. It'll be fun to try that because I know have, I have a 2018 iPad with the Apple Pencil and I haven't really used it that much yet, the Apple Pencil. I was going to ask you if you noticed a big difference with the new Apple Pencil? I think it's kind of lame that Apple just chose to not make the new Apple Pencil compatible with other Apple Pencil compatible iPads. It's like-

David Averbach:                Yeah, it's a weird, it feels, yeah, it feels like an arbitrary place to try to upsell somebody to do an iPad Pro. I don't think it's going to work in Apple's favor. I think that if you have, like I don't think you're going to make a purchase decision off of that and if you buy the cheaper one and you're not allowed to buy the new Apple Pencil, you're just going to be a little annoyed.

Donna Cleveland:             Yeah.

Sarah Kingsbury:               Yeah. I, it's really-

Donna Cleveland:             So no, you don't think it's-

David Averbach:                Oh, well-

Sarah Kingsbury:               It's really annoying to update to a more expensive device and then have to get rid of your older Apple Pencil and buy a much more expensive one [inaudible 00:37:00] you have to replace all your accessories as well. If that's kind of a little-

David Averbach:                Interesting point. You can't win that one either way. The short answer is I don't have the Apple Pencil so I don't have-

Donna Cleveland:             Oh, you don't, oh.

David Averbach:                Yeah. Because of what Sarah said. It's like I don't draw on my iPad and I couldn't think of a great use case to use the Apple Pencil so I just didn't get it.

Donna Cleveland:             Okay. That makes sense.

Sarah Kingsbury:               So, okay. Actually I also use it to mark up pages because instead of having Jamie, our director print them out, I sometimes just do them as PDFs and that is actually incredibly handy.

David Averbach:                I guess overall, I'd be curious to hear you guys as takes on this in terms of like, I guess this, we'll devote an episode, but like is there, what's the reason for somebody to buy an iPad Pro anymore?

Sarah Kingsbury:               I mean, I don't know because I think I would buy a computer.

David Averbach:                Hmm.

Donna Cleveland:             Yeah, I was going to say, I so far would not buy an iPad Pro personally just because it's really expensive and it can't replace your computer very well yet because we don't have a mouse and you don't have a full desktop software. Like there's no way to use all of the apps that I need to use on a computer. And so, I mean, unless you just have the money to spend on it, like I don't think that it's the right choice if you're choosing between a laptop and an iPad Pro. That being said, I've got the 2018 iPad and having it side by side to the iPad Pro, the iPad Pro is just way nicer. And so it's like, it is awesome in a lot of ways. I can see the appeal if the display was so much nicer. Like the liquid retina is really nice. And I think that, I don't know, I think face id is a feature that I love and so I'm sure it's nice to have on the iPad, but I don't know that that's like that huge of a selling factor yet.

Donna Cleveland:             So I guess I'm a little bit, I'm not that enthusiastic about the iPad Pro at this point. I think the iPad Air is kind of interesting because it has a lot of the nice features and it's, I mean it's half the price of the iPad Pro.

David Averbach:                Well and that's exactly it. And I wrote an article on this, we've referenced in the podcast so we can link to it again, which is kind of my take on the iPad Pro and why I don't think it's a computer replacement and I don't think it's a computer replacement. Honestly, I'm kind of glad that the iPad Air was not out when I bought my iPad Pro because I love my iPad Pro. It's such a great device. I love it. But I would have a hard time justifying paying twice the price for it. And so that's a weird thing where, it really is, I think will be a much better device, a much better experience than the iPad Air. But is it worth it especially when you can't use it as a computer? Unless, I mean if you can afford it, yes it's worth it. But if you're struggling to justify the expense of an iPad in general, the iPad Air is both a happy medium and also a sad medium and that you're losing out on all of the iPad Pro features.

Donna Cleveland:             So this is our second question of the week?

David Averbach:                Yup.

Donna Cleveland:             So our second question of the week is what do you think of Apple's iPad announcement, our new iPads and are you planning on getting a new iPad and if so, which one? So email And to close out the episode, I want to tell you about our third question of the which is just, and this is a little bit different, we want you to email us if you watch the announcement next week, email us before 2:00 PM central time. So that would be like within the hour of the announcement. If you have any questions you want us to cover during our next week's podcast, you can also just post in our Facebook group, post your questions, either during our podcast, we'll have that open or ideally before 2:00 PM and we will all try to cover as many questions as we can during next week's podcast. So this wraps up episode 106 of the iPhone Life Podcast. Thanks so much for joining us. And remember next Monday, March 25th, we have a podcast for you as well. So tune in.

Sarah Kingsbury:               Thanks everyone.

David Averbach:                Thank you everyone.

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Author Details

Sarah Kingsbury's picture

Author Details

Sarah Kingsbury

As the Editorial Director at iPhone Life, Sarah Kingsbury manages the online editorial team and oversees all website content. She is a long-time Apple enthusiast who never goes anywhere without her Apple Watch and owns way too many HomePods. Since joining iPhone Life in 2013, Sarah has done everything from writing hundreds of how-to articles to founding the Daily Tip newsletter. She even co-hosted the early episodes of the iPhone Life Podcast. When not at work, Sarah can be found hiking in the mountains and canyons around Las Vegas, where she lives with her partner and dogs.