Today we were battered with a ton of awesome announcements from Apple, and if you can't be bothered to comb through them all, we've got the important information here.
The biggest takeaway from today's event is the announcement of the iPad Air 2. It shaves down the profile to 6.1 mm (for reference, the existing iPad Air is 7.5 mm thick). There's a new 8 megapixel camera inside that's similar to what we're seeing in the iPhone 6 Plus and a dedicated A8X image signal processor to handle timelapse and slow-mo shots. The front-facing camera has had some great improvements, and lets in 81% more light thanks to a larger aperture. There's also burst-mode selfies to shoot.
Wi-Fi and LTE have been improved for higher speeds and great compatibility thanks to additional bands. Touch ID has found its way onto the iPad, supporting secure access to apps and online purchases with glorious fingerprint scanning. Some fantastic new apps were demoed running on the new iPad, like Pixelmator and Replay. The iPad Air 2 will be available in 16 GB, 64 GB, and 128 GB models for $499, $599, and $699, respectively. Tack on $130 for LTE models. Silver, gold, and space gray colors will be available. Preorders start October 17, with shipments going out next week.
The iPad mini 3 was also announced. It doesn't seem like anything has changed on the camera front, but includes Touch ID and improved LTE. Silver, gold, and space gray models will be available in 16 GB, 64 GB, and 128 GB models for $399, $499, and $599 respectively. Tack on $130 for LTE. Preorders start October 17 and ship by the end of next week. Rounding out these announcements are price drops for previous iPad models: the iPad Mini 2 is down to $299, the iPad Air is down to $399, and the original iPad mini is only $249.
On the Mac side, we have the iMac with Retina 5K display. It has 7 time more pixels than on your 1080p TV with a 27-inch 5120 x 2880 display. There's a ton of technological improvements here to reduce power consumption, reduce thickness, improve viewing angles, and ensure display fidelity. It'll be going for $2499.
The cherry on the top is the new Mac Mini, which is shipping today and is available for $499. It's getting improved with Wi-Fi ac, a 4th-generation Intel Core processor, PCIe flash storage, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, and claims to be the world's most power-efficient desktop computer.
Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off the event talking about the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus rollout, and ongoing international rollout. He boasted that Apple enjoyed the most first month orders ever.
He then went into Apple Pay, talking about all of the major U.S. banks supporting the upcoming wireless payment standard at the later end of this year and early next year. There are also a ton of retailers that will be supporting it. Apple Pay goes live on Monday with iOS 8.1.
Cook then moved onto the Apple Watch, and emphasized accolades from those in fashion, tech, and fitness industries. We can look forward to a new SDK for developers in November so they can tailor build their apps for the tiny screen.
iOS 8 adoption is really high, and claims 48% of Apple device owners. Combined with iOS 7, Apple's enjoying 94% coverage, which is a great contrast to the fragmentation seen in Android.
On the Mac side, Yosemite was made available for download for free today, along with a free update to iWork which lets you seamlessly work between devices. Be sure to check out our obscenely in-depth OS X Yosemite review.
That's about it! There was a ton of information to take in, but hopefully we're clearing it all up for you. Any questions? Shout out in the comments!
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