It’s time for Apple’s 2014 iPad Event. This event marked the debut of the 12.9″ iPad and new Macs.
As the event started Tim Cook reiterated the events from last month. He raved about the success of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. He then announced that Apple Pay goes live on Monday. From there was talk of the Apple Watch that is coming in Early 2015.
From there they moved on to iOS 8. Apple showed that 96% of users are running iOS 7 or 8, while only 25% of Android users were running Kit Kat — Android 4.4. They did not have stats on users running Android Service — the APIs that power most Android features, which run on far older versions than just the latest one. They then highlighted features like the custom keyboards that came in iOS 8, and then announced that iOS 8.1 was coming Monday and brings back the Camera Roll plus many new features.
They then moved on to OS X Yosemite. Safari in Yosemite will have a new design and will run incredibly faster. These changes improve battery life by 2 hour, and improved support for Netflix. They then showed off the new continuity features between Yosemite and iOS 8. They did this with a surprisingly humorous phone call to Stephen Colbert.
Yosemite is available for free today.
2014 iPad Event: New iPads
The iPad Air 2 and The iPad Mini 3
You may remember the old iPad commercials showing that he iPad was thinner than a pencil. Now they cut the pencil by 15-20% and the new iPad Air 2 is still smaller. It’s 6.1mm thin. This is 18% thinner than the original iPad Air. You can stack two iPad Air 2’s on top of each other and they are still thinner than the original iPad.
The iPad Air 2 has an anti-reflective coating that reduces reflection by 56% and no air gaps. The iPad Air 2 has a new chip – the A8X. This is new from the iPhone 6. This new chip has 12x improvement for the CPU. Couple that with 180% improvement to graphic performance (compared to the original iPad) and this is a powerful device. With all of this your iPad Air 2 has a 10 hour battery live and comes with a great camera 8 MP camera. This camera has a f/2.4 aperture, has 1.12µ pixels, and 1080p video.
The new iPad supports 802.11AC with MIMO. That means you’ll see faster speeds on Wi-Fi and on LTE connections. And it is more secure thanks to support for TouchID. Now you can use Apple Pay with your iPad.
The iPad Air 2 starts at $499 for a 16 GB version, $599 for 64 GB, and $699 for 128 GB. It is an extra $130 for each model if you’re interested in cellular.
There is a new version of the iPad mini 3. The iPad mini 3 starts at $399 for 16 GB, $499 for 64 GB, and $599 for 128 GB.
They did not mention any differences for the iPad mini 3. Presumably it’s a smaller version of the iPad Air 2.
The iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 2 will continue with a $100 price drop for each. The original iPad mini is now $50 less at $249.
2014 iPad Event: New Macs
Apple debuted the new iMac with retina display. It has a 5120×2880 resolution on a 27″ screen with 14.7M pixels. This is the world’s highest display. They are calling it the Retina 5K display.
The new iMac supports 4K video editing with room left for you to do other things. It has an 3.5GHz Intel i5 processor which you can upgrade to a 4GHz i7 processor. You’ll receive a Radeon R9 graphics processor. It comes with 8 GB of RAM, Thunderbolt 2 and a 1TB fusion drive.
The new iMac with retina display costs $2499.
There is a new version of the Mac Mini. It has a new 4th gen Intel Core processors. Intel Iris and HD Graphics. PCIe-based flash storage. 802.11ac WiFi, two Thunderbolt ports, and is the world’s most energy-efficient desktop. This new MacBook starts at $499. This is a $100 price drop from the previous version.
The new iMac and Mac Mini ship today.
Do you like what you heard from the 2014 iPad Event? Are you going to get the new iPad Air 2 or the new iMac?