Apple has released a bunch of new products without too much of its usual fanfare. Among the new releases are the new iPad Air and a brand new 5th-generation iPad mini.
Both devices have really similar specs apart from their sizes. The iPad mini has the same 7.9-inch screen as its predecessor. It has a Touch ID sensor on the bottom and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Improvements include the A12 Bionic chip that also powers the 2018 iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, and iPad Pro, 8-megapixel rear camera, 7-megapixel FaceTime camera, stereo speakers, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, eSIM support (on the cellular model), and a 19.1 watt-hour battery. The mini is also compatible with Apple Pencil, so taking notes on the go is a breeze.
Prices online start at $399 for the 64GB Wi-Fi version and $529 for the cellular model, and the iPad mini comes in silver, space gray, and gold. If you need to bump the storage to 256GB it will cost you an additional $150.
iPad for everyone Apple hopes
The iPad Air is basically the same spec wise but has a bigger 10.5-inch screen. The new model starts at $499 and $649 for the Wi-Fi and cellular models, respectively.
“iPad continues to provide magical new experiences for a growing range of uses where it is the absolute best device, from playing games in augmented reality to note-taking and drawing with Apple Pencil, from streaming HD movies and editing 4K films to learning to develop apps with Swift Playgrounds,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
“Today the iPad family takes two big leaps forward with an all-new 10.5-inch iPad Air that brings high-end size, features and performance at a breakthrough price, and a major upgrade to the 7.9-inch iPad mini, which also brings Apple Pencil, Retina display and the A12 Bionic chip to the many customers that love its compact size.”
The addition of the Apple Pencil opens the possibilities of use for the iPads from everything from note taking to serious art making. There are now over 1 million apps created just for iPads. These range from games to payment services to photo editing tools.
Move over Netflix
Apple is rumored to launch its content streaming service at a special event at the Steve Jobs Theater on March 25. Graphics displaying the slogan ‘it’s showtime’ suggest Apple is ready to step into the ring against streaming services Netflix and Hulu.
Apple used the same tagline when it launched Apple TV back in 2006. Industry insiders have suggested the event this week won’t be a full launch of the service but instead will be a teaser of what’s to come and will feature celebrities like Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell.
Apple will need a strong content policy to gain any foothold in the tight streaming market; some observers suggest the tech giant might be ready to throw off its family-friendly image in order to gain content that will draw in audiences. The pricing tiers are not yet known, but the service may be free for Apple Music subscribers initially.