iPad Air

The iPad Air 2 ($499 and up from the Apple Store) is the current flagship of Apple’s family of tablets. It features a noticeably slimmer (18% thinner) profile compared to the original iPad Air, but largely retains the same physical design. A Touch ID sensor has been added to the Home button for fingerprint recognition, enabling ID-secure online (but not in-store) Apple Pay and iTunes Store purchasing. It now comes in the gold color option that Apple previously only offered on iPhones, as well as space gray and silver versions. You can choose from 16GB, 64GB, or 128GB capacities, as well as Wi-Fi-only or Wi-Fi + LTE Cellular models.

Armed with a 9.7″ screen with a Retina-caliber 2048×1536 resolution, it has a new anti-reflective coating that makes the display 56% less reflective. It’s also the only iPad to include an A8X chip, an improvement over the iPad Air that uses a second-generation 64-bit architecture and 3 billion transistors for 40% faster CPU and 2.5x faster GPU performance. Though it promises (and delivers) the same 10-hour battery life as its predecessor, real-world run times have dropped a little relative to the first iPad Air, offset by the Air 2’s smaller chassis and 32-gram lighter weight.

The iPad Air 2 also includes the M8 motion tracking chip and barometer that were introduced in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, enabling it to sense its elevation and movement. In addition, iPad Air 2 gets a much-improved 8 megapixel iSight camera with an f/2.4 aperture and 1080p video recording capabilities, similar to the iPhone 5s. Other specs include up to 2.8x faster Wi-Fi performance with 802.11ac and MIMO, while the cellular model increases LTE support to connect with 20 different LTE bands.

Read our full coverage for details.

Originally released in 2013, the first-generation iPad Air ($399 and up from the Apple Store) remains in Apple’s lineup as its entry-level 9.7″ tablet. Currently sold only in 16GB and 32GB capacities, it can be purchased in Wi-Fi-only or Wi-Fi + LTE Cellular models.

The iPad Air took heavy design cues from the original iPad mini, becoming 20% thinner and 28% lighter than the full-sized iPad it replaced. It retains the 9.7″ Retina display with 2048×1536 resolution, with a pixel density of 326PPI. Also inside are a 64-bit A7 processor, 802.11n MIMO Wi-Fi, and optionally LTE cellular support that improves upon prior iPads.

As of early 2015, this model’s battery life is the best of all current iPads, exceeding Apple’s promised 10-hour run time by 2-3 hours under some conditions. It’s an excellent choice if you don’t favor the thinner, somewhat faster iPad Air 2 and are satisfied with the limited storage capacity the original iPad Air offers.

All iPad Air Generations

Release Date Age
October 16, 2014 9 months, 17 days ago
October 22, 2013 1 year, 9 months, 11 days ago

iPad Air ▪ July 23

iPad Air ▪ July 19

A new report out from KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo includes some interesting details about Apple’s planned fall product releases. Firstly, Kuo expects iPhone shipments to fall in the current quarter as anticipation builds for the new iPhone dubbed the ‘iPhone 6s’, although apparently ‘Force Touch yields are low’ which may constrict availability at the beginning. For Apple Watch, following a report earlier in the year to expect new materials for Apple Watch casings, Kuo claims Apple will launch new Apple Watch Sport color options to match the new iPhone.

This includes anodizing aluminum in either yellow gold or rose gold to match the gold options on the iPhone 6s and create a faux-Edition Sport model. Third-party coating services already exist for the Apple Watch (pictured above), but Apple’s additions would seemingly be for the aluminum, not steel models.  KGI believes Apple shipped a “tepid” 3.9 million Apple Watch units to date.

There is also news of a new iPad mini covered in KGI’s report, as well as sales estimates for all of Apple’s products ahead of the earnings calls on Tuesday.

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iPad Air ▪ July 15

iPad Air ▪ July 14

Pixelmator for iPhone and iPad has today been updated to version 2.0.2 bringing even more features to the popular image editor for iOS and Mac. This update adds a new kind of brush stroke called Dynamic Touch, which simulates pressure sensitivity by examining the size of the finger input that touches the screen. Larger surface area produces thicker strokes on the canvas. Similarly, using just the tip of a finger results in fine lines in the app.

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iPad Air ▪ July 13

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