iPad Air

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iPad Air
Apple iPad Air Logo.svg
IPad Air.png
DeveloperApple Inc.
ManufacturerFoxconn
Product familyiPad
TypeTablet computer
Release dateNovember 1, 2013[1]
Operating systemOriginal: iOS 7.0.3
Current: iOS 7.0.6, released February 21, 2014 (2014-02-21)
PowerBuilt-in rechargeable Li-Po battery
8,827 mAh 3.7 V 32.9 W·h (118 kJ)[2]
System-on-chip usedApple A7 with 64-bit architecture and Apple M7 motion co-processor
CPU1.4 GHz dual-core
Memory1 GB RAM [3]
Storage16, 32, 64 or 128 GB flash memory
Display9.7 inches (250 mm) 2,048 × 1,536 px color IGZO display,[4] (264 ppi) with a 4:3 aspect ratio, oleophobic coating
InputMulti-touch screen, headset controls, M7 motion co-processor, proximity and ambient light sensors, 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, digital compass, dual microphone
CameraFront: 1.2 MP, 720p HD
Rear: 5.0 MP AF, iSight with Five Element Lens, Hybrid IR filter, video stabilisation, face detection, HDR, ƒ/2.4 aperture
Connectivity
Online servicesApp Store, iTunes Store, iBookstore, iCloud, Game Center
Dimensions240 mm (9.4 in) (h)
169.5 mm (6.67 in) (w)
7.5 mm (0.30 in) (d)
WeightWi-Fi: 469 g (1.034 lb)
Wi-Fi + Cellular: 478 g (1.054 lb)
PredecessoriPad (4th generation)
Websitewww.apple.com/ipad-air
 
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iPad Air
Apple iPad Air Logo.svg
IPad Air.png
DeveloperApple Inc.
ManufacturerFoxconn
Product familyiPad
TypeTablet computer
Release dateNovember 1, 2013[1]
Operating systemOriginal: iOS 7.0.3
Current: iOS 7.0.6, released February 21, 2014 (2014-02-21)
PowerBuilt-in rechargeable Li-Po battery
8,827 mAh 3.7 V 32.9 W·h (118 kJ)[2]
System-on-chip usedApple A7 with 64-bit architecture and Apple M7 motion co-processor
CPU1.4 GHz dual-core
Memory1 GB RAM [3]
Storage16, 32, 64 or 128 GB flash memory
Display9.7 inches (250 mm) 2,048 × 1,536 px color IGZO display,[4] (264 ppi) with a 4:3 aspect ratio, oleophobic coating
InputMulti-touch screen, headset controls, M7 motion co-processor, proximity and ambient light sensors, 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, digital compass, dual microphone
CameraFront: 1.2 MP, 720p HD
Rear: 5.0 MP AF, iSight with Five Element Lens, Hybrid IR filter, video stabilisation, face detection, HDR, ƒ/2.4 aperture
Connectivity
Online servicesApp Store, iTunes Store, iBookstore, iCloud, Game Center
Dimensions240 mm (9.4 in) (h)
169.5 mm (6.67 in) (w)
7.5 mm (0.30 in) (d)
WeightWi-Fi: 469 g (1.034 lb)
Wi-Fi + Cellular: 478 g (1.054 lb)
PredecessoriPad (4th generation)
Websitewww.apple.com/ipad-air

The iPad Air is the fifth generation iPad tablet computer designed, developed and marketed by Apple Inc. It was announced on October 22, 2013 and was released in space gray and silver colors on November 1, 2013.[1] The iPad Air features a thinner design with similarities to the iPad Mini, along with using the same 64-bit Apple A7 processor with M7 coprocessor.

History[edit]

The iPad Air was announced during a keynote at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on October 22, 2013.[5] The theme of the keynote was named 'We still have a lot to cover.'[6]

Features[edit]

Software[edit]

The iPad Air comes with the iOS 7 operating system, released on September 18, 2013.[7] Jonathan Ive, the designer of iOS 7's new elements, described the update as "bringing order to complexity", highlighting features such as refined typography, new icons, translucency, layering, physics, and gyroscope-driven parallaxing as some of the major changes to the design.[8] The design of both iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks (version 10.9) noticeably depart from skeuomorphic elements such as green felt in Game Center, wood in Newsstand, and leather in Calendar, in favor of flat, colourful design.[8]

It can act as a hotspot with some carriers, sharing its Internet connection over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or USB, and also access the Apple App Store, a digital application distribution platform for iOS. The service allows users to browse and download applications from the iTunes Store that were developed with Xcode and the iOS SDK and were published through Apple. From the App Store, GarageBand, iMovie, iPhoto, and the iWork apps (Pages, Keynote, and Numbers) are available.[9]

The iPad Air comes with several pre-installed applications, including Siri, Safari, Mail, Photos, Video, Music, iTunes, App Store, Maps, Notes, Calendar, Game Center, Photo Booth, and Contacts.[10] Like all iOS devices, the iPad can sync content and other data with a Mac or PC using iTunes, although iOS 5 and later can be managed and backed up without a computer. Although the tablet is not designed to make phone calls over a cellular network, users can use a headset or the built-in speaker and microphone to place phone calls over Wi-Fi or cellular using a VoIP application, such as Skype.[11] The device has a dictation application, using the same voice recognition technology as the iPhone 4S. This enables users to speak and the iPad types what they say on the screen, though the iPad must have an internet connection available (via Wi-Fi or cellular network) due to the feature's reliance on Apple servers to translate the speech.[12] Apple also has started giving away free versions of its popular iLife (iPhoto, iMovie, Garageband) and iWork (Pages, Keynote, Numbers) apps with the device.

The fifth generation iPad has an optional iBooks application, which displays books and other ePub-format content downloaded from the iBookstore.[13] Several major book publishers including Penguin Books, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan have committed to publishing books for the device.[14] Despite being a direct competitor to both the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook,[15] both Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble offer e-reader apps for the iPad.[16][17]

Siri, an intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator, is included. The application uses a natural language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of Web services. Apple claims that the software adapts to the user's individual preferences over time and personalizes results.[18] iOS 7 adds new male and female voices, new system setting functionalities, a redesign to match the rest of the operating system, and integration with Twitter, Wikipedia, Bing, and Photos.[19] Facebook comes integrated through Apple's native apps. Facebook features can be directly accessed from within native apps such as Calendar which can sync Facebook events, or use Facebook's like button from within the Apple App Store.[20][21] iTunes Radio, an internet radio service, is also included on the iPad Air. It is a free, ad-supported service available to all iTunes users, featuring Siri integration on iOS. Users are able to skip tracks, customize stations, and purchase the station's songs from the iTunes Store. Users can also search through their history of previous songs.[22]

Design[edit]

The iPad Air marks the first major design change for the iPad since the iPad 2; it now has a thinner design that is 7.5 millimeters thick and has a smaller screen bezel similar to the iPad Mini. Apple reduced the overall volume for the iPad Air by using thinner components resulting in a 22% reduction in weight over the iPad 2.[23] Though it still uses the same 9.7-inch Retina Display as the previous iPad model,[24] an improved front-facing camera makes using Face Time much clearer.[25] The new front facing camera is capable of video in 720p HD, includes face detection, and backside illumination. The rear camera received an upgrade as well; now being called the iSight camera, in addition to the same functions as the front camera it also contains a 5MP CMOS, hybrid IR filter and a fixed ƒ/2.4 aperture.[26]

As with previous generations, Apple continued to use recyclable materials. The enclosure of the iPad Air is milled from a solid block of aluminium making it 100% recyclable. The iPad Air is also free of harmful materials such as BFRs and PVC.[23]

Hardware[edit]

The iPad Air inherits hardware components from the iPhone 5S, such as its 64-bit Apple A7 system-on-chip and Apple M7 motion processor. The A7 present in the iPad Air is slightly different however, in that it does not use a PoP design which stacks the RAM on top of the SoC.[27] It also features a metal heat spreader to compensate for the slightly faster clock speed and better thermal management. The Air also includes a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, a FaceTime HD front-facing camera, support for 802.11n, and an estimated 10 hours of battery life.[24] It boots faster than any previous iPad model.[28]

As with all previous generations of iPhone and iPad hardware, there are four buttons and one switch on the iPad Air. With the device in its portrait orientation, these are: a "home" button on the face of the device under the display that returns the user to the home screen, a wake/sleep button on the top edge of the device, and two buttons on the upper right side of the device performing volume up/down functions, under which is a switch whose function varies according to device settings, functioning either to switch the device into or out of silent mode or to lock/unlock the orientation of the screen.[29] In addition, the WiFi only version weighs 469 grams while the cellular model weighs 478 grams – over 25% lighter than their respective predecessors.[29][30] The display responds to other sensors: an ambient light sensor to adjust screen brightness and a 3-axis accelerometer to sense orientation and switch between portrait and landscape modes.[31] Unlike the iPhone and iPod Touch's built-in applications, which work in three orientations (portrait, landscape-left and landscape-right), the iPad's built-in applications support screen rotation in all four orientations, including upside-down. Consequently, the device has no intrinsic "native" orientation; only the relative position of the home button changes.[29]

The tablet is manufactured either with or without the capability to communicate over a cellular network. All models can connect to a wireless LAN via Wi-Fi. The iPad Air is available with 16, 32, 64 or 128 GB of internal flash memory, with no expansion option. Apple sells a "camera connection kit" with an SD card reader, but it can only be used to transfer photos and videos.[29]

The audio playback of the iPad Air is in stereo with two speakers located on either side of the lightning connector.

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The iPad Air has received mainly positive reviews. Writing for AnandTech, Anand Lal Shimpi writes that the iPad Air "feels like a true successor to the iPad 2," praising it for its reduced weight and size. Shimpi further states that the Air "hits a balance of features, design and ergonomics that I don’t think we’ve ever seen in the iPad."[32] UK Editor-in-Chief of TechRadar, Patrick Goss, gave the iPad Air a positive review, giving praise to the A7 chip and camera upgrades, as well as the crisp and colorful display. He concludes by stating: "It's hard to put into words how much Apple has improved the iPad, offering a stunning level of detail and power with a build quality that's unrivalled."[33] Christina Bonnington of Wired awarded the Air a rating of 8 out of 10, calling the performance "outstanding" and noting that high-definition video streams and gaming animations are "smooth and stutter free." She also praised the loading speeds of the web browsers. Bonnington criticized the speakers for being slightly muddled, however.[34]

Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak criticized the focus on decreasing size and weight rather than increasing storage space and stated that he did not want an iPad Air as it did not fit his personal needs.[35][36] Dave Smith of International Business Times wrote two less positive reviews for the Air, arguing that while the device is nice, it does not bring anything new to the iPad. Smith strongly criticized the lack of Touch ID, and noted that the updates, such as the increased speed and the decreased size and weight, are only slight improvements.[37][38]

Commercial reception[edit]

The launch date for the iPad Air did not see as large of a turnout as usual for Apple products; however, this was expected by analysts due to the delayed release of the 2nd generation iPad Mini.[39] The Air sold out in Hong Kong two hours after becoming available online.[40]

Timeline[edit]

iPad Mini (second generation)iPad Mini (first generation)IPad AirIPad (fourth generation)IPad (third generation)IPad 2IPad (first generation)
Source: Apple press release library[41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b iPad "Buy iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display". Apple Store (US). Retrieved October 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ "iPad Air Teardown". iFixit. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Apple iPad Air and new iPad mini 2 with Retina still sport 1 GB of RAM, service chat reveals". www.phonearena.com. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Flagship Tablet Display Technology Shoot-Out". displaymate. Retrieved November 10, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Apple decks out venue for iPad event next week". CNET. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  6. ^ {apple.com}
  7. ^ Souppouris, Aaron (September 10, 2013). "iOS 7 will come to iPhones and iPads on September 18th". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Cue, Eddy; Cook, Tim; Federighi, Craig; Ive, Jony; et al. (June 10, 2013). WWDC 2013 Keynote. Moscone West, San Francisco, California: Apple Inc. Event occurs at c.1h 25min, to end. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  9. ^ Ankan Deka, Jim (September 14, 2011). "iPad – the Musician’s Genie". EF News International (Eastern Fare Music Foundation). Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  10. ^ "The new iPad – Amazing iPad apps, built right in.". Apple. March 7, 2012. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  11. ^ Sarno, David (January 29, 2010). "Apple confirms 3G VoIP apps on iPad, iPhone, iPod touch; Skype is waiting". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  12. ^ "The new iPad: It's a Breakthrough because it features are.". Apple. March 7, 2012. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  13. ^ Patel, Nilay (January 27, 2010). "The Apple iPad: starting at $499". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  14. ^ Topolsky, Joshua (January 27, 2010). "Live from the Apple 'latest creation' event". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  15. ^ Electronista Staff (December 9, 2009). "Apple tablet due March, to get Kindle-killer book deal?". Electronista. MacNN. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Free Kindle Reading Apps". Amazon.com. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Free NOOK app for iPad, Download eReader app – Barnes & Noble". Barnes & Noble. April 20, 2012. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Apple – iOS 7 – Siri". Apple Inc. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  19. ^ "iOS 7 Features". Apple Inc. June 13, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  20. ^ Clark, Jason (August 28, 2013). "Platform Updates: Facebook SDK for iOS 7 and Promotions Updates". Facebook. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  21. ^ Davies, Chris (September 18, 2013). "Facebook and Twitter get iOS 7 app refresh". SlashGear. R3 Media. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Apple - iTunes Radio - Hear where your music takes you.". Apple Inc. June 10, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  23. ^ a b "iPad Air - Design". Apple. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  24. ^ a b Seifert, Dan (October 22, 2013). "Apple announces the iPad Air, its thinnest and lightest full-size iPad yet". The Verge. Retrieved October 24, 2013. 
  25. ^ Stevens, Tim (2013-10-28). "Apple iPad Air Review - Watch CNET's Video Review". Reviews.cnet.com. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  26. ^ "iPad Air - Technical Specifications". Apple. 2013-09-01. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  27. ^ "Anandtech Review of the iPad Air". October 29, 2013. Retrieved December 17, 2013. 
  28. ^ George, POPA (December 3, 2013). "iPads boot time". Mobilesmug. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  29. ^ a b c d "iPad Air – Technical Specifications". Apple. Retrieved October 24, 2013. 
  30. ^ Stevens, Tim (October 30, 2012). "iPad review (late 2012)". Engadget. Retrieved October 24, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Apple's got it wrapped up for Christmas! iPad Air is twice as fast, 20% thinner, weighs just 1lb and comes with a Retina display". The Daily Mail. October 23, 2013. Retrieved October 23, 2013. 
  32. ^ Anand Lal Shimpi (October 29, 2013) "The iPad Air Review" AnandTech Retrieved on November 1, 2013
  33. ^ Patrick Goss (October 29th, 2013) "Hands on: iPad Air review" TechRadar Retrieved on November 1, 2013
  34. ^ Christina Bonnington (November 6, 2013). "Apple iPad Air: Air Worthy" Wired. Retrieved on November 9, 2013
  35. ^ Marc Chacksfield (October 23, 2013) "Steve Wozniak: The new iPads just aren't for me" TechRadar Retrieved on November 1, 2013
  36. ^ Matyszczyk, Chris (2013-10-28). "Woz: No, no, I wasn't criticizing the new iPads | Technically Incorrect - CNET News". News.cnet.com. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  37. ^ Dave Smith (November 02 2013). "Apple iPad ‘5’ Air Review: 3 Major Disappointments In The New Fifth-Generation iPad." International Business Times. Retrieved on November 14, 2013.
  38. ^ Dave Smith (November 09 2013). "Apple iPad Air Review: Don’t Believe The Hype, A.K.A. The Unpopular Opinion." International Business Times. Retrieved on November 14, 2013.
  39. ^ Chris O'Brien (November 1, 2013). "Crowds are light for the new iPad Air". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on November 3, 2013.
  40. ^ Jeremy Blum (01 November, 2013). "iPad Air sells out in two hours on Hong Kong Online Apple Store" South China Morning Post. Retrieved November 3, 3013
  41. ^ Apple Inc. (2010–2011). Press Release Library. Retrieved April 3, 2011.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
iPad (4th generation)
iPad Air
5th generation
Succeeded by
Incumbent