Apple Introduces iPad Air 2 & iPad mini 3 Featuring Touch ID & Support for Apple Pay Within Apps

Apple on Thursday introduced iPad Air 2, slimmed down again to just 6.1 mm, and weighing less than a pound. iPad Air 2 also features an improved Retina display claimed to deliver enhanced contrast and richer, more vibrant colors, plus better cameras 8 mpxl rear; 2 mpxl front.

Photo Courtesy Apple

The Air 2 is also now available in gold, as well as carryover silver and space gray, and both the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 offer Touch ID so users can unlock their iPad wit the touch of a finger to make purchases easily and securely within apps using Apple Pay which is also released today.1

Photo Courtesy Apple

“iPad is a magical piece of glass that runs more than 675,000 apps specifically designed for it, and is thin and light enough that you can comfortably hold it all day; the new iPad Air 2 is packed with amazing new innovations, weighs less than a pound, and at just 6.1 mm is the thinnest tablet in the world,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “iPad Air 2 has a new Retina display with anti-reflective coating, second generation 64-bit A8X chip, all-new iSight and FaceTime HD cameras, faster Wi-Fi and LTE wireless, and includes the revolutionary Touch ID fingerprint identity sensor.”2

As with its predecessors, iPad Air 2 is housed in a precision anodized aluminum unibody enclosure. The improved Retina display now features a fully-laminated design with an anti-reflective coating that Apple says reduces glare by 56 percent for better viewing outdoors and other bright-lit environments where glare can be an issue.

Photo Courtesy Apple

iPad Air 2 is powered Apple’s latest in-house-designed A8X chip, which it claims delivers a 40 percent improvement in CPU performance and 2.5 times the graphics performance of iPad Air’s already speedy A7 processpr, and still delivers claimed battery life of up to 10-hours. 3 Apple says that combined with Metal, the new graphics technology in iOS 8, the A8X chip unlocks realistic visual effects comparable to the most advanced gaming consoles, and also includes the M8 motion coprocessor that gathers motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and an new barometer which senses air pressure to provide relative elevation.

The iPad Aor 2′s iSight and FaceTime HD cameras are upgeaded with an an 8MP sensor in the rear-facing one and better optics, as well as adding new features including panoramic in Photos, time-lapse video, slo-mo and 1080p HD video. The FaceTime HD camera is now claimed to capture over 80 percent more light than iPad Air’s camera, and features burst mode as well as HDR stills and video.

iPad Air 2 offers faster connectivity with 802.11ac Wi-Fi with Multiple-In-Multiple-Out (MIMO) technology for 2.8 times the Wi-Fi performance of iPad Air at data rates up to 866 Mbps.4  iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular integrate more LTE bands and come with expanded LTE for up to 50 percent faster cellular connections, 5 plus support for other fast cellular technology around the world (DC-HSDPA, HSPA+), according to Apple.

Photo Courtesy Apple

Touch ID gives iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 users a simple and secure way to unlock iPad with the touch of a finger, plus the ability to authenticate within apps to better protect logins and data. Touch ID can be used as a secure way to approve purchases from the App Store, iTunes Store or iBooks Store, and with Apple Pay, for paying for physical goods and services within apps.

The new iPads come with iOS 8.1 including Continuity features across iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite that enable all your Apple products to work together seamlessly. Handoff lets you start an activity on one device and pass it to another, and when your iPhone is on the same Wi-Fi network, you can make and receive phone calls from your iPad.

The iPad mini line has been expanded to include the new iPad mini 3 with Touch ID (still A7 powered) and the preceding iPad mini with Retina display, now called iPad mini 2 and starting at $299. Both of these iPad modelss feature a Retina display, a 5MP iSight camera, FaceTime HD camera and ultrafast wireless. The original A5 powered, 1024 x 768 resolution iPad mini also remains available, starting at $249.

Photo Courtesy Apple

iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 come in three metallic finish options including a new gold version, along with the carried-over silver and space gray

Customers in 29 countries and territories can order online beginning Friday, October 17. Both iPads will be available starting later next week in the US, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China (Wi-Fi models only), Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau (Wi-Fi models only), Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. Availability in Croatia, Greece, Puerto Rico, Russia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and elsewhere around the world, will continue through the end of October with additional global availability in the coming months. iPads are sold through the Apple Online Store, Apple s retail stores and through AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, additional carriers and select Apple Authorized Resellers.

iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi models will be available at The Apple Store for a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 64GB model and $699 (US) for the 128GB model. iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 64GB model and $829 (US) for the 128GB model. iPad mini 3 with Wi-Fi models will be available for a suggested retail price of $399 (US) for the 16GB model, $499 (US) for the 64GB model and $599 (US) for the 128GB model. iPad mini 3 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models will be available for a suggested retail price of $529 (US) for the 16GB model, $629 (US) for the 64GB model and $729 (US) for the 128GB model.

iPad Air, iPad mini 2 and iPad mini, available in silver or space gray. iPad Air starts at $399 (US) for the 16GB with Wi-Fi model, iPad mini 2 starts at $299 (US) for the 16GB with Wi-Fi model, and iPad mini starts at $249 (US) for the 16GB with Wi-Fi model.

To complement the new iPads, iPad Air and iPad mini Smart Covers are available in seven colors and Smart Cases for iPad Air 2 and iPad mini offered in five new shades. Custom-designed polyurethane Smart Covers for iPad Air and iPad mini will be available for a suggested retail price of $39 (US) in black, white, blue, green, pink, yellow and (RED). iPad Air 2 Smart Cases are available in beautiful aniline-dyed leather in midnight blue, olive brown, black, soft pink and (RED) for a suggested retail price of $79 (US) with Smart Cases for iPad mini available in those same colors at a suggested retail price of $69 (US). Smart Covers and Smart Cases are available through the Apple Online Store (http://www.apple.com), Apple s retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers.

Notes
1 Apple Pay is only available in the US.
2 Over the previous generation iPad Air.
3 Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors. Actual results may vary.
4 Based on theoretical speeds, actual speeds may vary.
5 LTE is available through select carriers. Network speeds are dependent on carrier networks. Check with your carrier for details.

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