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Apple Quietly Releases New iPad mini and iPad Air
Apple just made my mother’s day, with the release of an updated iPad mini with modern specs. Her iPad mini 2 could no longer run all the apps she wanted, but it made no sense to buy an iPad mini 4, which hadn’t been updated since September 2015. Apple has also introduced a new 10.5-inch iPad Air, which is eerily similar to the now-discontinued 10.5-inch iPad Pro, albeit with a less-capable camera and $150 off the price.
The company made these announcements via a press release, not seeing them as newsworthy enough to warrant a special event and not wanting them to distract from the upcoming special event that’s likely to focus on Apple’s much-rumored video subscription service (see “Four Ways Apple Could Improve Apple Music,” 11 March 2019). Realistically, minimizing these announcements was the right call—the new iPad mini is hugely welcome but merely playing catch up, and the new iPad Air mostly tweaks the 10.5-inch iPad Pro’s specs to better fill out the iPad lineup.
The only minor negative? By reusing the plain iPad mini and iPad Air names, much as it did with last year’s sixth-generation iPad, Apple has made it all the harder to keep track of which iPad model you might have or be talking about. And don’t get us started about the Apple Pencil. But hey, nothing new here—Apple’s product naming seldom makes much sense. These are officially the fifth-generation iPad mini and third-generation iPad Air.
Fifth-Generation iPad mini Gains A12 Bionic Chip and Apple Pencil Support
After sitting on the iPad mini 4 for over three years, Apple did what many iPad mini fans have been wanting for ages—it brought the diminutive iPad up to snuff with modern-day specs while retaining the same form factor and industrial design, including the Home button with Touch ID. Apple also added Apple Pencil support, extending it across the entire iPad lineup.
At its core, the fifth-generation iPad mini features the latest A12 Bionic chip, which Apple says is three times faster than the iPad mini 4’s A8 chip and provides graphics that are nine times faster. Like 2018’s sixth-generation iPad, the new iPad mini also supports the $99 first-generation Apple Pencil but not the second-generation model that works only with the 2018 iPad Pro models.
Apple also says that the iPad mini’s 7.9-inch Retina display, while retaining the previous model’s 2048 by 1536 resolution, is 25% brighter. It is also now a wide-color display (P3) and supports Apple’s True Tone technology, which lets the display adjust its color temperature based on the light in the current surroundings.
The cellular model of the iPad mini now supports gigabit-class LTE connections with additional LTE bands. One slight confusion: the spec page lists both “Nano-SIM (supporting Apple SIM)” and “eSIM,” but Apple has another chart that suggests that the iPad mini supports only eSIM—we’re trying to get clarification from Apple. The new iPad mini also now supports Bluetooth 5.0, up from Bluetooth 4.2 in the iPad mini 4.
Although the iPad mini’s cameras have the same basic specs as before—8 megapixels for the rear-facing camera and 7 megapixels for the front-facing FaceTime HD camera—both are capable of capturing video in 1080p at 30 frames per second. Previously the FaceTime HD camera could capture only 720p video.
The new iPad mini is available for order today in silver, space gray, and gold colors, and it will appear in stores next week. A 64 GB Wi-Fi model costs $399, while a 256 GB Wi-Fi model is $549. Switching to a Wi-Fi + Cellular model adds $130, making the 64 GB price $529 and the 256 GB price $679.
Third-Generation iPad Air Rejiggers 10.5-inch iPad Pro Specs and Price
The third-generation iPad Air is a funny beast. If you compare it to the previous iPad Air line, it’s significantly more capable, both in screen size and performance. However, it’s better thought of as a 10.5-inch iPad Pro that Apple has modernized slightly and reduced the price of by using a less-capable camera and speaker system. The form factor and industrial design remain identical to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro with its Home button and Touch ID, even down to the Smart Connector that accepts the original $159 Smart Keyboard. The iPad Air also retains support for the first-generation Apple Pencil.
Like the new iPad mini, the new iPad Air features an A12 Bionic chip, gigabit-class LTE, an eSIM, and Bluetooth 5.0.
However, Apple significantly downgraded the camera capabilities in the new iPad Air, swapping the iPad Pro’s rear-facing 12-megapixel (ƒ/1.8 aperture) camera with a six-element lens for an 8-megapixel (ƒ/2.4 aperture) model with a five-element lens. Apple also dropped the top-quality video capture to 1080p (down from 4K), shrunk panoramas from a max of 63 megapixels to 43 megapixels, and removed the iPad Pro’s optical image stabilization, True Tone flash, Focus Pixels, and more. For the most part, the front-facing FaceTime HD camera looks similar, although Apple no longer advertises it as having body and face detection or auto image stabilization. In addition, the new iPad Air has only stereo speakers, whereas the 10.5-inch iPad Pro had four speakers.
Also like the iPad mini, the new iPad Air offers only two storage options: 64 GB for $499 and 256 GB for $649. Cellular connectivity adds the usual $130, bumping the 64 GB price to $629 and the 256 GB price to $779. It’s available in the same silver, space gray, and gold colors as well. You can order an iPad Air online today, or find it in Apple retail stores next week.
A Sensible iPad Lineup
Far more so than with any other product in its stable, Apple has at long last created a sensible iPad lineup that lets users choose the model that provides the desired price, size, and capabilities.
|Model||Screen Size||Starting Price|
|iPad mini (5th generation)||7.9 inches||$399|
|iPad (6th generation)||9.7 inches||$329|
|iPad Air (3rd generation)||10.5 inches||$499|
|iPad Pro 11-inch||11 inches||$799|
|iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation)||12.9 inches||$999|
Although the prices don’t scale directly with screen size, that actually makes sense, since the sixth-generation iPad has an older chip (the A10 Fusion), offers only 32 GB and 128 GB storage options, and has a less-polished display (it’s not fully laminated, lacks an anti-reflective coating, isn’t a wide-color display, and lacks True Tone). Plus, Apple is charging a small premium for the svelte size of the iPad mini—bigger isn’t always better.
So, not to distract from these iPad announcements, but if Apple is going to acknowledge that the iPad mini form factor is, as the press release says “a beloved design,” wouldn’t it make sense to do the same thing in the iPhone lineup, where users are clamoring for a smaller model? We had dinner with a friend last weekend who is still using an iPhone 4S, and its combination of squared-off sides and small size made it remarkably pleasant to hold and pocket. Just saying—there’s still room for an iPhone mini, even if Apple doesn’t go as far as an iPhone nano (see “Palm’s Tiny Phone Sucks, but How About an iPhone nano?,” 4 March 2019).
And rather glad I’ve held out a few weeks, I’m going to pick up an Air.
I’ll keep holding out for an SEII, hopefully someone at AppleHQ is reading TidBITS.
Agree with all of the above. I think the new lineup makes a whole lot more sense. I also like that Apple has shown some dedication to a smaller form factor that still offers good specs/performance.
But you do wonder even more where the SE2 is now. There was a lot of chatter recently about Apple launching an updated iPod touch to get it more in line with current iPhone specs. Now, with that not having materialized alongside the new iPads, I wonder if this bodes nothing too well for an SE2.
Am I the only one that is disappointed about the iPad Mini’s memory options? The older iPad Mini 4 is available with 128 GB of memory at the same price that the “5” is available for with only 64 GB. The only upgrade is to 256 GB, overkill for many people and therefore a needless expense.
This same problem exists with the iPhone X and Xs. I can only speak for me, but 64 GB is too little, and 256 GB is too much. 128 GB would hit the sweet spot for me, and I suspect for many others as well. I bet that many people who would consider upgrading if the base memory option was 128 GB now won’t do it because the perception is they’re getting less but being charged the same.
Yes, the display is better and the processor is faster, but for many people, that just isn’t compelling. I would have upgraded today if 128 GB were the base configuration and I didn’t feel like Apple was delivering less for more money. It really makes me feel like I’m being ripped off.
Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way.
I was waiting to see what came out, and am underwhelmed. I have an iPad 5th generation. I find I use it more and more than previous iPads, mainly because the Logicel keyboard makes it useful, and so I bring it to classes for lectures.
Because I’ve been using it more and more I’ve sort of wanted a larger screen lately and I had hoped the upgrade would at least get rid of the home button and make better use of bezel space, like on my iPhone X. I like the way I can just touch the screen on my iPhone X and just wake it up. I was hoping the new iPads would have that ability.
The 64 GB option is way too small, so I would need to go for the 256 GB option. And my current iPad 5th generation is cellular. So we are up to $779 already.
Yet we don’t get the nice speakers on the old Pro model. And the pencil option becomes different from the current pencil.
I guess the lineup is designed to push people like me gently into the iPad Pro series. Or just get us to stick with the iPad 5th generation for now…
I agree with Tommy and Simon. Give us a new iPhone SE, Apple! I gave my first SE a bath in the washer after Apple had discontinued it. I scrambled to find another, which I did but it was a model destined for the US and so is just slightly crippled by the different network frequencies here in Australia. It’ll be some time before I become resigned to upgrading to a larger phone.
A fifth-generation iPad feels to me like it’s on the cusp of the decision—any older and it’s an easy choice to upgrade and any newer, it’s easy to stick with what you have. I’ve used a 10.5-inch iPad Pro for several years now, and I can say that it’s a fine machine. I don’t mind using its Home button in the slightest compared to Face ID on my iPhone X, and I don’t think I’ve ever tried tapping the screen to wake it up—the Home button is just easy and still obvious. I’m not sure I’ve ever noticed the speakers—most of the time when I watch video on it, I use earbuds, and while the camera is a major step down, I’d use my iPhone X’s camera anyway.
I feel your pain—I went through it with the iPhone with the iPhone X, since I can’t quite fit into a 64 GB model, but never come close to filling the 256 GB I got. All I can say is that it was well worth bumping up to 256 GB so I didn’t have to deal with being low on space constantly, as I did with the previous iPhone. That said, given how long it has been since the previous iPad mini rev, if I were you, I’d get the larger one and chalk it up to future-proofing, since it might be a few years before Apple updates it again.
If you were considering an upgrade from the iPad 5th generation, though, would you go for the new iPad Air or just go for the latest iPad Pro 11"?
The speakers on the iPad 5th generation have always bothered me. The sound is just low. In class, I need to use a bluetooth speaker if I want to play a song for class. For watching videos myself in private it’s ok. But if you want to share with a few people the speaker is just too low by itself. The quad speakers on the Pro series are significantly louder. I’ve compared all of them - the 10.5 Pro you have, the 11 inch and the 12 inch. The sound is much louder and better quality. The speakers on the iPad 5 are just low in volume.
The home button doesn’t bother me per se. It’s just when you go back and forth with the iPhone X that I feel like I want to tap the iPad screen. Similarly, when I go from my iPad to my MBP I feel like tapping the screen (like on a Surface computer) to do something simple - rather than move the cursor around and click. Separate topic I know. But I do wish Apple would add some sort of screen touch capability. Since they will be introducing some way of running iOS apps on the Mac this year or next year it makes sense.
Apple tends to unveil all its new iPhone models at the same time. But with the softness in the iPhone market in China and India, I think there is a chance, though maybe a slight one, they might release a smaller, less expensive SE-like iPhone down the road a bit, probably with a whole new name. I just hope they’re better with the moniker than they were with XR and XS.
Does anyone know, or is there any way to find out, what speakers and amplifiers Apple uses in each model?
I’m with you Adam on liking the small size factor iPhone 4s. I recently rediscovered mine and began using it as an iPod, and love it. Now if only it had an edge to edge screen with facial recognition!
Hallelujah! I just ordered the new iPad mini, having gotten rid of my iPad mini 4 only a month ago for a number of reasons (not the least because it did not take Live Photos). In fact, I replaced it with an 11-inch iPad Pro – which isn’t exactly conducive to bedtime reading, for example, even though I do like many of its excellent features.
Meanwhile, I still use my iPhone SE precisely because I love the small size (which fits nicely into a pocket while I’m cycling – I’m talking about women’s clothing here).
Since I also have the original 12.9-inch iPad Pro (which practically serves as my laptop), I can even use the first gen Apple Pencil with my new iPad mini. Can hardly wait to take this new… iToy on a month-long European vacation later this spring!
A very nice array of tablet sizes you have!
I’m upgrading from an iPad 2, frankly everything is great. Actually a refurb 6th generation is an attractive option for people to consider, you can get a 128Gb model that way, just to say it. The pocket isn’t permitting a jump to the Pro tier but weighed up a refurb 128Gb 6th versus a 256Gb Air, decided the additional bump was worth it for the speed jump, given likely longevity.
Personally, I’d go for the iPad Air, since the speakers and camera aren’t things that matter to me. If I was thinking about moving more of my work to the iPad, then I’d go for the 11-inch iPad Pro.
Subscribers to the service can probably get it from:
iFixIt has a teardown too, but they don’t get into specifics about the speakers:
@doug2 Another option that’s available only for a short while is getting an older 10.5-inch iPad Pro on sale. It won’t have the A12 Bionic chip, but is probably still a better machine than the iPad Air if it’s at the same price.
I’m glad Apple released these new models, and I am seriously thinking about a new iPad Air to replace my aging 4th gen iPad. What I don’t understand is why they are being so quiet about it.
I think Apple just wants to eliminate all complaints about old hardware before announcing the video service next week. It’s a legitimate worry—I’d be annoyed if Apple seemed to be prioritizing video content over upgrading hardware that hasn’t been touched in years.
I’m glad Apple is giving the Air line some love, I like the design (now using an Air 2 that’s still going strong). I would seriously have considered upgrading if the new Air had been future proofed with a USB-C connector and pencil 2 support. Four speakers would have been nice too. For now, it’s nice to know there is a replacement, in case something unfortunate happens to my current Air. Otherwise, I can wait for the next iteration.
Yes very nice array of tablets indeed. As I said, the 12.9” iPad Pro basically serves as my laptop, essentially for work because the forScore app allows me (and many fellow musicians) to leave sheet music at home while on tour. (I even know a pianist from Vienna who, after scanning all his scores into his 12.9” iPad Pro, started buying all kinds of gifts while on tour for his family because suddenly he had all that extra space in his suitcase!)
Meanwhile, my new 11” iPad Pro is for “fun”, ‘coz I sure the heck don’t want to be reminded of work while doing… fun stuff.
As I also mentioned, the iPad mini is perfect for bedtime reading – and on holiday when one wants to remain connected but without lugging anything heavy.
Finally, I also had an iPad 2 forever until I upgraded to the 12.9” iPad Pro. For some reason iPad Air just never appealed to me… (Ah, I just recalled why. I don’t think the iPad Air is configured for cellular data, but which I always wanted as a back-up ‘coz one never knows about wifi availability in European hotels, for example.)
As the saying goes, to each his/her own!
For those of you who use an iPad as your computer, how does that work for you? I really need a “real” keyboard with a numeric keypad
My main tasks:
Typing in Word
Heavy Excel use
Quickbooks (there is a QB online app for the Mac)
Illustrator - that’s a big one for me
TeamViewer for remote access for my clients
Splashtop for another client
I do a ton of historical research which I’ve found easier on a laptop too.
I do a lot of photography as well. Most of my documentation pix are emailed out or uploaded to Dropbox/google
I have an iPad 3 Retina. I’ve brought it exclusively on 2 vacations and all my weekend work trips from 2012-2017. For my last trip, I got a wireless hard drive that also had an SD card for photo backups (downloading pix to the iPad was pretty slow, I have a third party dock connector adapter for the SD card)
I got a 64gb with cellular but oddly enough, never got much over 30gb even with photos on it.
The worst thing was, I had the battery replaced at 3+ years. I had been running iOS 7 at the time, but when they gave me the replacement it upgraded to the then-current iOS 8 and has been so much slower since. It’s fine for reading books but the web is pretty painful. I wish I could do something to speed it back up a bit,
Sometimes I think about getting a new one…. but mine was soooo expensive!
As a Mini iPad user (it’s suits me size-wise), it looks like I’m still waiting for an iPad Pro Mini (or Mini Pro perhaps, lol!). Can’t really justify paying £875 to upgrade from the Mini 4 to the 5, even with the features and processor, as I’m buying “yesterday’s tech” which I’m not interested in – most of the stuff is left-overs from previous design periods (Pencil 1 and still Lightning, FFS!), and not the current one.
…and yes, that £875 is the true price, as by the time you buy: ipad (64 too small means having to go up to 256, and I need cellular) / AC+ / Pencil 1 / Smart Cover – that’s how much you’re at. Unbelievable really, given it’s a non-Pro machine lacking Face ID, USB-C, and the new design language.
Hello Apple, my Macs have now been in USB-C mode since 2016, so why on earth would I want to remain in “world of Lightning” when I know you’re able to use USB-C just as easily. Laughable.
Money isn’t the issue, I’d actually pay MORE for a Mini Pro model. And I simply do not believe them if they turn around and say they can’t do most of the things in this smaller form-factor: they have in the past, so why not now.
I’m like the SE phone people: size is the number one consideration for me on iPads, just as it is for them on iPhones. The trouble is, Apple is strongly likely to remain thinking we’ll just jump on the bigger Pro ones anyway and pay even more than smaller Pro ones. But I know I won’t. So they don’t get any sale from me on their pads.
Maybe Autumn, maybe next year, maybe never. Maybe my iPad usage has just ended.
There are several keyboard choices to use with an original 12.9” iPad Pro (whereas I can’t speak to iPad Air since I’ve never used one):
In my home office, my 12.9” iPad Pro (laptop equivalent) has the #3 setup, which also allows me to charge the iPad at the same time.
What’s more, if I plug a USB to Ethernet adapter into a port on the USB keyboard, I can also get wired Internet instead of wifi – always faster in my experience.
When on the road, I either take the Smart Keyboard or a Bluetooth keyboard with me – depending on the purpose of the trip and/or destination – and leave all the USB stuff at home.
As for Pages (the Apple counterpart to Word) and Numbers (the Apple counterpart to Excel), they work very well for me – though admittedly I’m not a power user of spreadsheets.
Regarding Keynote/PowerPoint presentations, I’ve actually found them much easier to create on my iPad Pro than on my Mac mini, even embedding soundbytes (from my music library) into slides – albeit with help from the iMovie app for iOS, as I create a “video clip” that contains no images but only sound, which is then embedded into a slide.
Someone else can undoubtedly advise you re: Illustrator, though my guess is that an Apple Pencil would be a plus for that purpose, too. (I use the AP to mark up sheet music in the forScore app, for example, to remind myself what to do when it comes to a certain [musical] passage while I’m performing on stage.)
To each his own, but I’ve bought every generation of iPad Pro 12.9” since the beginning— except the latest one. The move to USB-C really turned me off. I’ve got Lightning chargers all over the house. It’s ridiculous to add a different standard in there. I can’t just replace all the cables because iPhones and other iPads still use lightning, so then I’d be fussing with two cables that look almost exactly alike!
I say this as someone who has two USB-C Macs, but those I tend to charge only at their “home” locations. iPhones and iPads are more portable and I charge them wherever I happen to be.
I look at peripherals in a similar manner: none of my old accessories work with the new usb-C Pros (keyboard, old Pencil, etc.) and with the higher price I’d be looking at $1500 to duplicate what I already have (the only big improvement I’d get would be faceID).
So I see these new iPads being compatible with the old standards as a positive.
But I’m looking forward, not backwards. Lightning is over. We (collectively, as a species!) have moved on to a single port-type concept.
iPhones can charge wirelessly most of the the time, and this (or next, given certain reports!) year should be USB-C too, regardless.
So the point of keeping the old port around on newly released devices when the new port is in full swing and growing, is needlessly annoying to the majority. All it’s doing is delaying the inevitable port change, while keeping them stuck on the old port in a couple of years, lowering their devices future uses as they aren’t in the USB-C world.
Buying a few universal easily/cheaply available USB-C cables is hardly a problem for most. And C-A or C-Lightning adapters are cheap too, so there’s no need to update all your major peripherals.
You’re not alone. But this is a classic business upsell scheme. They offer you not enough in size “small”, so you have to go for size “big”, as they only offer two sizes or they only offer small & big, with no decent “medium” option.
Welcome to the classic upsell. Coffee to burgers… similar rules apply. And yes, it sucks; especially on expensive electronics.
These are not newly released models, in the strictest sense. They are the same design with speed bump processors and improved displays. Same thing applies to today’s announcement on 2019 iMacs that lack the latest T2 chip technology. Those will come when we see redesigned models in a year or two.
Sent from my iPad
Yeah obviously. I meant after 3.5 years, spec-bumping the Mini 4’s internals, and basically keeping the old externals (design & port wise), at a cost that makes no sense once analysed beyond the headline pricing. They’re just not appealing, when one considers what’s already happened in iPad-land late last year.
With respect to the Lightning port, don’t forget about the current Apple keyboards and trackpads.
Yep, those should eventually get type-C’d too, if everything else bothers to make it’s way over. But given they’ve just released these bumped pads, I’d say that won’t happen for quite a while. Although with a new Mac Pro sometime this year, they may do them then (or not…this is Apple so it’s anyone’s guess!).
…oh yeah, plus given the general hatred for the butterfly keyboard in any iteration (2016/2017/2018 MBPs), I suspect they’d be thinking about where these are going to go too, before port-switching happens (again, but this is Apple Inc. in 2019, so don’t hold your breathe for them caring too much about that type of thing!).
That’s new to me, I had no idea this could be done, does iOS display any difference visually? An Ethernet indicator somehow?
I like the Logitech K811 keyboard, can connect to three different bluetooth devices with a simple key tap. My laptop, my iPad and my SE. I’ll be getting a simple cover for my new Air.
I have used my old iPad for work, and found that for large datasets, Photo Libraries, or big Excel files, it was no match for a laptop. So big DevonThink databases prove handy to have on there but the heavy lifting I did back on the laptop. The larger screen of the 12.9" would help a lot but it’s about the sheer amount of data, I don’t see iPads doing that particular job. For quick work, yes, it’s a pleasure, even a smoother experience, but scale is the issue.
In Settings, Ethernet is listed directly under Airplane Mode and Wi-Fi as in this screenshot:
My old iPad 2 from 2011 was insufficient for work purposes, over which the (2015) 12.9” iPad Pro was a “yuge” improvement. The larger screen is perfectly fine for my purposes, whereas I shall leave it to someone else to address your data concerns.
That’s really cool. I never knew that was there.
I’m tempted to replace an old mini 2 that I have at home primarily for surfing and reading. It’s only 16 GB and it’s hella slow. I first thought I should get something with substantial storage, but since this is an iPad that’s lying around most of the time my wife doesn’t want us to actually spend real money on it.
The new mini 5 is very appealing to me and I guess $399 is ok. But I was thinking maybe 64 GB is not particularly future proof. We have lots of photos and music on it. I was very surprised that going to the next storage tier is an extra $150 (I thought I remembered that being $100) now bringing us to $549. With sales tax we’re going to be at $600 which guarantees my wife’s veto.
Then I realized you can buy a refurb 128 GB mini 4 for just $309. I consider 128GB rather future proof for our use. I’ve never been interested in Apple Pencil. I don’t care about the quality of the front camera, if anything we’d be using the rear camera. So at first I thought this looked like an awesome deal.
Of course that was until I realized the mini 4 still has a A8. Now both mini 4 and 5 come with just 2GB of RAM so no difference there, but an A8 does not strike me as incredibly future proof. Even my SE with its much smaller resolution and battery offers an A9 and I have a feeling we might see an iOS version that won’t run on an A8 anymore in the not too distant future.
I probably missed other differences (I don’t care about the minuscule weight difference or LTE bands, for home use I’d be getting the wifi version anyhow). But I have to tip my hat to Apple. They’ve priced these things exactly right to get people to spend extra money. The only problem is they didn’t consider my wife. I probably won’t be getting a new iPad mini just now.
I guess you could argue a $429 128 GB iPad is a decent middle ground. Unless of course you actually want the compact size of the mini (which I do).
I agree on the pen with Illustrator, but I can’t even use Pages and Numbers on the Mac (compatibility issues), so I think it would be a no-go on the iPad.
I’m able to use Pages & Numbers and save files in Word/Excel on my iPad Pro, whereas I hardly use the Mac equivalent any more on my Mac mini… Sorry to be of little help!
That’s ok! I tried Numbers for a couple of years and it regularly chocked on formulas I used for work. At that time Pages wasn’t bad for me, but now I do typing with tables and have to exchange with someone who only uses Word for Windows so…… If it wasn’t for that I can deal with Pages.
I’ve currently got an iPad Mini 4, which I love. I’m gladdened that Apple has decided to refresh the Mini, but I’m unsure if it’s worth it right now to spring for the new version or maybe the new Air.
I am somebody who love the iPad Mini size - I have the Mini 4, and it is working fine for me. My wife also has one, and it also is fine for her. (Our mothers also both have one, and both use them as eBook readers as well as general web and app devices.) What I love particularly about the Mini 5 upgrade is not that I can go buy one now, as ours are fine - it’s that if something happened to one of our iPads and we needed to buy another, until Monday, we would have had to spend about $630 for a new Mini 4 with AppleCare+ and cellular and a four year old A8 processor. Now I can spend the same amount for a Mini 5 with a brand-new A12 that will receive iOS updates for far longer.
I have 128 GB storage now but don’t need it over 64 GB at all - with iCloud Photo Library and iTunes Match I have never come close to having 64 GB stored on the iPad at any one time. (It’s extremely rare that I use the iPad mini for listening to music anyway - for that I use either my phone or the Sonos app to listen in the house.) The only times that I come close to using more than 64 GB of storage are when we are taking a long airplane trip and I load three or four movies or Netflix episodes onto the iPad for watching on the plane.
I’m hoping that this announcement is the beginning of Apple reliably having one to to year hardware bumps on most of their products going forward. In fact, after years of Apple not being reliable about this (with the obvious exception of the iPhone and maybe the MacBook Pro), it does seem that in the last two years they have come back to this sort of update schedule.
As for an iPad Mini Pro - I’d never buy one, but I think it would be a great option. I do wonder, though, whether enough people who want a Pro iPad would really go for a Mini over a larger display to make it worthwhile for Apple to offer one.
While having a “middle option” would be better than nothing, I really think the base option should be 128 GB. Geeze, it’s 2019 Apple. Get with it!!
“Our new one starts at only x!”, when in reality, everyone knows they have to get the next one up from the bottom to get what’s usable.
@ Apple: like we can’t see through your marketing to figure this most basic of facts out. HAHA.
I know this probably doesn’t happen very often, but what happens if someone forgets to charge the iPad or it malfunctions?
Since the scores had been scanned as pdfs and just about always stored in a cloud service, they can easily be downloaded and printed out in a pinch. Which is a yuge improvement over the old days, as I recall a renowned pianist looking for a particular score in the library of my music school, because he had forgotten to pack it before going on a US tour from Europe!
Meanwhile, many orchestras also store scores and parts in Dropbox nowadays, so that members can download them to practice before the first rehearsal when real parts are used.
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