Apple’s pre-Christmas train kept on rolling this week, after it unveiled two brand new iPads alongside the release date for Apple Pay.
Whilst we all knew the releases were coming at the event, Apple did let slip earlier in the day with some images and specs of the two tablets ‘accidentally’.
Rumours have emerged however that Apple released the leak intentionally to try and quiet down some of the Android Lollipop hype from the Nexus 6 news earlier on this week.
Following up from Apple’s hugely successful iPad Air is the aptly named iPad Air 2, and it boasts a notable number of improvements.
Touch ID is the obvious addition, which has will be featuring for the first time on a tablet with both new models after success on the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus.
The same 9.7” display is staying put, with the resolution from before also sticking around but Apple has added an anti-reflection coating for better viewing angles in outdoor lighting for those on the go.
It has also been slimmed down dramatically to just 6.1mm, making it the thinnest tablet on the market after dropping from 7.5mm last year.
The surprise addition of an Apple A8X chip is giving us a 40% increase in power, whilst the 5 megapixel rear-based lens is upping to the 8 megapixel standard from the iPhone 6.
Timelapse video, panoramic pictures and slow-motion video are also added to the Air 2’s camera, with iOS 8.1 being the featured operating system.
Apple’s smaller tablet saw a heavy upgrade last time out, with Retina displays and improved specs making the Mini 2 a much improved version on the original Mini.
This time around though it looks like we’re getting very little to be excited about with the iPad Mini 3, so much so that it doesn’t look worthwhile to rush out and grab the Mini 3 if you already have the second effort.
Touch ID has been included as mentioned earlier, but in terms of specs and hardware features, absolutely nothing has been changed by the guys and girls at Cupertino.
In fact, the only other change we can find is the inclusion of a champagne gold colour version of the tablet, and that’s a scraping the bottom of the barrel type change.
iOS 8.1 will come built-in, but even the original iPad Mini can support the system, so it’s nothing new if you don’t already own a previous version of the slate.
Both the iPad Air 2 and Mini 3 are available to buy now, with delays not expected on delivery with Apple having stocked up on both devices readily ahead of the festive period.
Apple also took the time during its event to showcase more details about Apple Pay, giving US users a release date to look forward to on October 20th.
Apple states that over 500 banks have signed up to the service worldwide, with Visa, MasterCard and Amex the big three sure to get tails wagging this month.
It’s still unknown just when the service will be hitting the UK and other markets, but it would seem to be a bit of a push to unveil it before Christmas.
Written by Luke Hatfield