When it comes to their umbrella of mobile gadgets, it is rather understandable that Apple will prioritize the development of new models for the venerable iPhone. It is their driving product after all, even if recently the latest models are having a rough day at sales, even to their immediate predecessors. That matter aside, Apple is now turning its attention to introducing upgrades for its iPad tablet line. Both are new generations to two existing variants, the small iPad Mini and the slim iPad Air. Interestingly, they have compatibility with an older Apple accessory that got updated itself last year.
Tech Crunch reports that Apple announced the iPad Mini 5 and the iPad Air 3 this week. In terms of dimensions, the Mini is more compact than the current basic iPad (9.7 inches) while the Air is larger than that (10.5 inches) but still smaller than the iPad Pro (11 inches). For the Mini, the update was long in coming, considering that the fourth generation was released back in 2015. The long absence of a successor Mini model was initially assumed to be Apple following the trend of smartphones getting bigger (and making a Mini tablet redundant). The unveiling of the iPad Mini 5 has reassured that the line endures.
Improvements on the Mini include a brighter screen display with more colors and True Tone support. It also shares with the new iPad Air the addition of an A12 chip (carried from the iPhone XS). It does retain the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, Lightning port and classic audio jack from its predecessor. The iPad Air 3 meanwhile has support for the Smart Keyboard and the option to add 256GB more storage and cellular connectivity. And now we get to the peculiar support issue with these two devices and Apple Pencil.
The Pencil is Apple’s high-performance wireless stylus, first introduced in 2015 with the original iPad Pro. It got a second generation successor in October 2018, which works with the more recent iPad Pro models. The iPads Mini 5 and Air 3 however, only offer compatibility with the first-gen Apple Pencil, not the latest model. What makes things worse is that the new Apple Pencil has no numerical designation, so that it and the original Pencil can be confused for each other. The first Pencil also has a male Lightning plug that needs the new iPad’s Lightning port for charging. That can be a problem if other add-ons require that port.
In terms of pricing in both their basic 64GB capacity, the iPad Mini 5 is worth $399, while the iPad Air 3 is at $499. Available colors for them are silver, space gray and gold.
Image courtesy of 9to5 Toys