Retina iPad mini and iPad Air event: What we didn't get

Retina iPad mini and iPad Air

Now that the iPad event has wrapped up, it's time to take stock of what we got and what expectations have been left unfulfilled. Before we dive in, it's fair to note that they announced a lot - a new MacBook Pro, the iPad Air, Retina iPad mini, and lots of extras on products that have already been announced, like the launch of OS X Mavericks and the new Mac Pro's pricetag. On the whole, it's been a solid day for news, and there's really little reason to complain about anything. We're still going to find things to nitpick about, though.

TouchID on an iPad

No TouchID on the new iPads is certainly the biggest let down. This was the flashiest feature on the iPhone 5s, and without the hardware in place, we won't be seeing fingerprint scanning on an iPad until the next generation. For anyone with both an iPhone 5s and an iPad Air, they may feel like a caveman every time they have to punch in their password to authenticate an App Store purchase.

Gold

Some people might actually be thankful that we won't be getting a Kardashian iPad. Others may have appreciated some color options beyond white and black, though I'd have a hard time carrying around an iPad as colorful as an iPhone 5c. In any case, gold is proving popular with a certain crowd, and they'll be left blingless this iPad launch.

4K screens

Apple's clearly happy about the Mac Pro's ability to handle multiple 4K displays, but didn't announce any 4K displays of their own. This is the next step beyond Retina, but clearly it's still a ways out, even for Apple TV...

Apple TV update

Apple's set-top box has had a few small updates within recent memory, but nothing, even on the software side, was announced today. There were hints that we might see something, and there may yet be an update sometime before the holidays.

iWatch

It might have been a far-fetched expectation to have in the first place, but the hope for a proper Apple wearable is still just a fantasy for the time being. In the meantime, Android manufacturers are going to town with their own devices, but I'm having a hard time imagining any seriously taking off. In any case, here's hoping we see something on this front in 2014.

What were your expectations?

Was there something you were looking for from today's event that didn't happen? A more specific launch date for the Mac Pro?

Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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There are 29 comments. Add yours.

Dionte says:

I wanted the touch ID but I really wanted 2 gigz of ramz, there is still hope, if so I will be ready to order on the 1st if I can't make it to the store. If not I might wait.

devinp says:

I wasn't expecting any new iPods. But does anyone know when the iPod event will be??

jldad says:

My son had saved up some money to buy either a new iPod touch or an iPad mini. We would also like to know about a new iPod release.

pcdsim says:

It doesn't look like we're getting an iPod event this year. There was an unannounced update to the line around the same time as the new iPhones. The only addition was a new space grey color: http://www.apple.com/ipod/
That's it.

Snipperdo17 says:

They will probably release an iPad air s with touch id in a few months like they did from iPad 3 to 4 with just the one charger update to try and make people buy yet another iPad. Gonna pass on this one.

mckillio says:

There were more changes than just the change to Lightning but I think Apple will stick to yearly updates for at least the next year. I might get the mini but I'm not going to get a regular iPad until it has 2GB of RAM.

Webcrsn says:

I heard rumors about 8MP cameras on the new iPads. That would have been sweet.

ZeroLeonheart says:

That's what I wanted the most. A7 was almost (ALMOST!) a given, but Touch ID would have been cool. Least liked: the new price of the mini. iPad got retina and didn't get expensive, but the mini did, and that's a bummer. Runner up: No pre-orders and a later in November ship date. I would imagine its because of supply issues that they're waiting.

wdfly says:

i thought the whole thing was kinda meh. they didn't wow me in any way.

alshraify says:

You made a good point there and i couldn't agree more! Honestly the only thing that kinda wow'ed me was the mac pro (pricey though), im a windows user who's looking to switch to mac sooner than later. IMO, this year Apple failed to impress as much as they did before with their releases.

BP41 says:

Wow, I thought the new pricing for the rMBPs was awesome. I have a 15" now. I think I'm going to upgrade the wife's to a retina now.

Francisstof says:

I predict an iPad Pro! Watch my words!

GlennRuss says:

Bet you are right, and that is when they will introduce their version of a keyboard smart cover.

Francisstof says:

Yup, with Touch ID, A7X chip, and gold options. Maybe at WWDC???

trmoney24 says:

A little unhappy that the price of the iPad mini went up. Was hoping it would stay at $329. But then again, it is beefed up more than the previous model.

Francisstof says:

With same specs as the iPad air!

iphone22 says:

I was expecting a better Camera and Touch ID on the new iPad Air and Mini. I have an Apple TV, so I guess, no update on that side. No happy at all. Plus the dam! price went up on the Mini.

nottingham_sel says:

I was happy but now I am confused whether I should get an iPad Air or Retina Mini.... :s

BP41 says:

I have a mini now. Bought because of the portability of it. I'll be upgrading to the Air now. I have missed the larger screen for drawing and photo edits.

sweetstyle says:

Trying to decide whether to to stick with my Ret3 or twist for the iPad air, disappointed my Ret3 didn't get airdrop in ios7...

Dev from tipb says:

I was hoping for a bump in the Mini lineup.

Sent from the iMore App

Bill McNeal says:

I was looking for an Apple TV update. I have an ATV gen 2 and I freaking love the thing, use it daily, I was hoping there'd be something new on that front, either a new improved unit or maybe some new partnership or something.

Sun Hyung Hong says:

I'm not sure if Apple will ever bring the Touch ID to iPads because they don't need security as much as iPhones (I think?). Surprised to see no iPod Touch updates and a small announcement for iOS 7 controllers. We all know iOS 7 controllers exist, but there's no official announcement yet. Something I enjoyed seeing was retina iPad Mini getting the A7 processor (iPad Mini 1st gen was A5) and Mavericks being free. Free is always good as long as there's no IAP. lol

iPandorum says:

Touch ID and possibly a gold iPad mini. I'm having second thoughts on buying one bc that will be on the next one in a year and bc they raised it $70 was a let down. It's not even a great price anymore

Sent from the iMore App

Harry Wild says:

I wanted the 802.11 ac! RAM should be 4GB but I think that for the next generation. After it a 64 bit processor.

aarontodd says:

64 bit, slimmer profile, lighter weight, 128 gig ipad sounds very interesting. Would have been a nice touch to add touch ID

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KrispyKrink says:

No TouchID was the only letdown on the mini for me. I really like the feature on my 5s and don't want any other device that doesn't have it. That being said, I'll still be getting the mini for the Retina display. I read, a lot! Books, email, web... That's the one barrier that made me skip the first gen mini. and having the Retina makes reading much for comfortable on my tired eyes.

Hopefully by this time next year I'll be selling it for the next mini with TouchID when Apple rolls in all password functions system wide into the touch of a finger.

cosywafu says:

It seems like the two new iPads have everything that I wanted, all except Touch ID. Having got used to it on my iPhone 5s, it's enough to put me off buying one. I'll now wait for the next update which hopefully will have Touch ID.

Sent from the iMore App

dvdphn says:

Sad to see no Touch ID, since one would hope that with the introduction on the iPhone 5S would mean a new addition across the entire product line, (and it sounds like an incredibly convenient feature for everybody).

Guess that means Apple is at a slower, more comfortable, pace at updating. Why not put Touch ID on iPads? Sure, it might be a more family-oriented product, so 5 fingerprint slots might not be enough, so why not make it 10? Or 20?

But this seems like a good intro device for future mass purchasing, (education/restaurants/business). Just like why they're keeping around the iPad 2.

I'm curious why they've dropped the quad core graphics differentiator, (e.g. A6X). Is quad core graphics now standard on the A7 chip? Does that mean the iPhone 5S is ultra powerful, or will the upcoming iPads be hindered?

It's also sad to see the iPod line and Apple TV not getting an update this year. Guess they're going on a two-year update cycle for those, (brings to mind the 4th gen iPod Touch, introduced in 2010, with merely the white model introduced in 2011, no change to internals). Seems like these can be classified as "hobbies" for Apple, since they take a major backseat to the iPhone and iPad, (Apple TV is still a very interesting accessory though).