23 October 2013

New iPads on the way

Apple announced some new products just a few hours ago.  First the iPad news….

On 1 November you’ll be able to buy the fifth generation iPad, called the iPad Air.  So, what’s different?

It’s just under 2mm thinner (from 9.4mm down to 7.5mm), and slightly lighter.  The Pixel resolution is the same as the iPad 4, but the performance is double that of the iPad 4, and 8 times that of the first iPad. 

There are two microphones which will improve the sound quality of FaceTime calls and video recording – and important for those using dictation and VoiceOver (I’ll be writing about accessibility features on the iPad very soon).

Two antennas and new technology mean the iPad Air will be twice as fast as the iPad 4 over Wi-Fi.   There has been no change in the rear camera – still 5 megapixels, but there’s a new FaceTime HD front camera. The battery should still last 10 hours.  Pricing is the same as the past iPads, starting at $499 for 16GB.  The iPad 4 will be discontinued, but you’ll still be able to buy the iPad 2, for $100 less that the new one.

To go with your new iPad you’ll be able to buy a new Smart Cover.  Instead of folding into four sections it will fold into three to create a triangular stand.  It also features hinges that match the curve of the new iPad.  You’ll pay $39 for a cover that protects just the front, or $79 to cover the back as well.

The other announcement from Apple is a new iPad Mini with Retina display.  This will be available later in November.  You’ll still be able to buy the original iPad mini, but it should be $100 cheaper, with the new iPad mini at $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model.

Included now with the purchase of any new Mac or iOS device will be all iWorks and iLife apps for free.  iWorks is Apple’s productivity suite of Pages, Keynote, and Numbers (equivalent to Word, PowerPoint and Excel) which have all been updated for iOS7.  iLife includes a redesigned iMovie, iPhoto and GarageBand.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the other new products from Apple.

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