iPad Overview Updated May 9, 2021

iPad (2020)

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3,284 'iPad' stories

February 2010 - May 2021

The iPad is Apple’s base tablet model. In its eighth generation, the iPad focuses on being the perfect tool for education and people who seek a bigger screen to read and surface the web. With Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard support, the iPad has never been better.

History

The iPad is a line of tablets designed and developed by Apple. It was originally announced in 2010, three years after the first iPhone was introduced. With a 9.7-inch screen and with iPhone OS 3.2 the iPad was a success, hitting 1 million tablets sold in over three months, half the time the first iPhone took to reach this mark.

Steve Jobs then unveiled the iPad 2 in March of 2011. About 33% thinner than its predecessor and 15% lighter, the second generation used the A5 chip, twice as faster as its predecessor. The iPad 2 also introduced front and back cameras that supported FaceTime video calls.

The successor of iPad 2 wasn’t a success at all. The third generation was introduced in March of 2012 with a Retina display and the A5X processor. The problem with this tablet it was too heavy and the battery didn’t last long enough. In October of the same year, Apple announced the fourth generation with the A6X processor, HD FaceTime camera, improved LTE capabilities, and the Lightning connector.

At this October event, Apple also introduced the first iPad mini. In 2013, Apple went with the first iPad Air and the iPad mini 2. In 2015, the company introduced the first Pro model, with two different sizes.

In March of 2017, Apple announced the fifth-generation iPad with the A9 processor. It was a budget option compared to the other tablets. It was in 2018 that the company brought expressive news to the base iPad line. The sixth-generation had the A10 Fusion processor and fully supports the first-generation Apple Pencil.

A year later, the seventh generation was announced with a larger 10.2-inch display and support fot the Smart Keyboard as well. It retained most of the specs of the previous model.

In September of 2020, the eighth generation was introduced alongside the fourth-generation iPad Air model. The eighth-generation received an upgraded processor, now with the A12 Bionic, while keeping the same storage options: 32GB and 128GB.

iPad Specs

The eighth-generation iPad launched in September of 2020. Available in three colors, Silver, Space Gray, and Gold, this tablet is made of 100% recyclable aluminum, and supports the first-generation Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard.

With thinner bezels, the product comes with a 10.2-inch Retina display with a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating. This tablet uses the A12 Bionic chip, the same available on the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. It has an “all-day” battery with up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi or watching videos.

The iPad also comes in 32GB and 128GB storage options and Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular versions. It has an 8MP camera that can record up to 1080p and 1.2MP FaceTime HD camera.

iPadOS 14.5

The eighth-generation iPad comes with iPadOS 14, which has redesigned widgets for the Home Screen, a new enhanced sidebar, compact calls function and Scribble. With this function, you don’t have to put Apple Pencil away to do other things. You can write by hand in any text field across iPadOS, and your words automatically convert to text.

Messages received pinned conversations, group photos, and inline replies. It’s possible to mention people in iMessage now and give your Memoji a more personalized look.

As for now, the iPad runs iPadOS 14.5. Here are some of the most important updates in this version:

  • App Tracking Transparency: iPadOS 14.5 includes the new App Tracking Transparency feature. This requires that applications ask permission from users before tracking them across other apps and websites. For example, when you open the Facebook app, you’ll see a prompt that says the app would like to track you across other apps and services. There will be two options from which to choose: “Ask App Not to Track” or “Allow.”
  • Siri: There is a new Siri intelligence feature that helps the virtual assistant adapt to your preferring music application. Apple also added two additional Siri voice options from which to choose. The company has said that these changes are part of its ongoing commitment to diversity.
  • Emoji: iPadOS 14.5 adds over 200 new emojis.
  • Podcasts: Podcasts Show Pages are redesigned to make it easier to start listening to a podcast. Option to save and download episodes, automatically adding them to your library for quick access. Top Charts and popular categories in Search help discover new shows.
  • Horizontal boot screen on the iPad
  • Updates to the Music app, including swipe gestures, a lyrics sharing feature, and more.

Apple is currently testing the iPadOS 14.6 beta.

Education

Apple describes this iPad as the go-to tablet for education. For several years the company discounts this tablet up to 10%.

Apple is always promoting ways students can use the iPad to learn new things: using Augmented Reality, the Apple Pencil, and how to code with Playgrounds.

The company says the “App Store is the best place to discover apps” for education purposes:

Let your curiosity run wild with iPad. The App Store is the best place to discover apps that let you get a leg up in geometry, learn a new language, and attend virtual classes. You can even use augmented reality to learn something exciting, like watching the history of spaceflight unfold in your living room or making characters from your favorite book literally leap off the page.

Pricing

iPad (2020) pricing starts at $329 for the 32GB storage option with Wi-Fi only. The prices can go up to $559 with the 128GB storage option and WI-Fi + Cellular. Here are the full prices of the eighth-generation Apple sells:

  • 32GB with Wi-Fi: $329
  • 32GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $459
  • 128GB with Wi-Fi: $429
  • 128GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $559
  • Apple Pencil (1st generation): $99
  • Smart Keyboard: $159

Lower prices may be available from Apple’s official Amazon store.

iPad (2020) Review

In our video review of the eighth generation iPad, we described it as the “best value tablet you can buy: “

“The iPad 8 was never meant to be a huge update. But even still, I think this is easily the best value tablet you can buy. For $329, this tablet has so much to offer: The performance, the great battery life, and the Apple pencil functionality. I’d highly recommend you pick up this tablet if you simply need an inexpensive tablet today that’s going to last you for three to four years with no trouble.”

iPad Deals

Over at 9to5Toys, you can find the best deals on the iPad and other Apple products. Download the 9to5Toys iPhone app to receive push notifications for new deals as well.

iPad Stories Today

Halide is arguably the most polished yet powerful camera app on the iPhone for photography. It strikes a balance with its attractive appearance and useful controls that let anyone do more with the optics on today’s iPhones.

Of course, iPhones aren’t the only Apple devices with amazing camera systems. Modern iPads often match the iPhone in most camera specs, and today, Halide is celebrating that with the first-ever version of Halide for iPad.

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As Apple continues its transition to Apple Silicon in the Mac, and introduces new iPad Pro models, I am once again here to ask for a nano-texture display option on more products. Apple last year debuted a 27-inch iMac with the nano-texture matte display option from the Pro Display XDR, and I’d like to see it come to the iPad and MacBook lineups next.

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Two Apple suppliers in Vietnam have been forced to temporarily close their plants due to a localized surge in COVID-19 cases.

The Vietnamese government has ordered the closure of four industrial parks, resulting in plant closures for both Foxconn and Luxshare …

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iPad Stories May 14

Key iPhone assembler Foxconn has echoed Apple’s chip shortage warning that production will be hit this quarter, saying that the lead time for some chips is now anything up to a year.

Apple said during its last earnings call that although the impact on iPhone production would be limited, it did expect shortages of iPads and Macs

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iPad Stories May 13

Twitter users are reporting that their M1 iPad Pro orders have had their status updated from “Preparing to ship” to “Shipped.”

Apple remained vague on the actual launch and delivery dates, simply saying second half of May, but we last month discovered the May 21 date in the HTML for a website announcement …

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iPad Stories May 10

New Kensington StudioDock on the way for 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pro

We’ve learned that a new Kensington StudioDock is in the works, after it turned out that the model for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro isn’t compatible with the 2021 model

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