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IPad Air

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IPad Air

iPad Air
Space gray colored iPad Air
Developer Apple Inc.
Manufacturer Foxconn
Product family iPad
Type Tablet computer
Release date November 1, 2013[1]
Operating system Original: iOS 7.0.3
Current: iOS 9.1, released October 21, 2015 (2015-10-21)
System-on-chip used Apple A7 with 64-bit architecture and Apple M7 motion co-processor
CPU 1.4 GHz dual-core
Memory 1 GB LPDDR3 RAM [2]
Storage 16, 32, 64 or 128 GB flash memory (64 and 128 GB discontinued)
Display 9.7 inches (250 mm) 2,048 × 1,536 pixel color IGZO display,[3] (264 ppi) with a 4:3 aspect ratio, oleophobic coating
Graphics PowerVR G6430
Input Multi-touch screen, headset controls, M7 motion co-processor, proximity and ambient light sensors, 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, digital compass, dual microphone
Camera Front: 1.2 MP, 720p HD
Rear: 5.0 MP AF, iSight with Five Element Lens, Hybrid IR filter, video stabilisation, face detection, HDR, ƒ/2.4 aperture
Connectivity
Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular:
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz and MIMO

Bluetooth 4.0

Wi-Fi + Cellular:
GPS & GLONASS
GSM
UMTS / HSDPA
850, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz
GSM / EDGE
850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
CDMA
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and B.
800, 1900 MHz
LTE
Multiple bands
A1475: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26; A1476: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 18, 19, 20 and TD-LTE 38, 39, 40
Power Built-in rechargeable Li-Po battery
8,827 mAh 3.7 V 32.4 W·h (117 kJ)[4]
Online services App Store, iTunes Store, iBookstore, iCloud, Game Center
Dimensions 240 mm (9.4 in) (h)
169.5 mm (6.67 in) (w)
7.5 mm (0.30 in) (d)
Weight Wi-Fi: 469 g (1.034 lb)
Wi-Fi + Cellular: 478 g (1.054 lb)
Predecessor iPad (4th generation)
Successor iPad Air 2
Website //ipad-air.com.applewww

The iPad Air is the fifth-generation iPad tablet computer designed, developed and marketed by Apple Inc. It was announced on October 22, 2013, and was released in space gray and silver colors on November 1, 2013.[1] The iPad Air features a thinner design with similarities to the iPad Mini, along with the same 64-bit Apple A7 processor with M7 coprocessor.

Its successor, the iPad Air 2, was unveiled on October 16, 2014.

History

The iPad Air was announced during a keynote at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on October 22, 2013.[5] The theme of the keynote was named 'We still have a lot to cover'.[6]

Features

Software

The iPad Air comes with the iOS 7 operating system, released on September 18, 2013.[7] Jonathan Ive, the designer of iOS 7's new elements, described the update as "bringing order to complexity", highlighting features such as refined typography, new icons, translucency, layering, physics, and gyroscope-driven parallaxing as some of the major changes to the design.[8] The design of both iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks (version 10.9) noticeably depart from skeuomorphic elements such as green felt in Game Center, wood in Newsstand, and leather in Calendar, in favor of flat, colourful design.[8]

It can act as a hotspot with some carriers, sharing its Internet connection over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or USB, and also access the Apple App Store, a digital application distribution platform for iOS. The service allows users to browse and download applications from the iTunes Store that were developed with Xcode and the iOS SDK and were published through Apple. From the App Store, GarageBand, iMovie, iPhoto, and the iWork apps (Pages, Keynote, and Numbers) are available.[9]

The iPad Air comes with several applications, including Siri, Safari, Mail, Photos, Video, Music, iTunes, App Store, Maps, Notes, Calendar, Game Center, Photo Booth, and Contacts.[10] Like all iOS devices, the iPad can sync content and other data with a Mac or PC using iTunes, although iOS 5 and later can be managed and backed up without a computer. Although the tablet is not designed to make phone calls over a cellular network, users can use a headset or the built-in speaker and microphone to place phone calls over Wi-Fi or cellular using a VoIP application, such as Skype.[11] The device has a dictation application, using the same voice recognition technology as the iPhone 4S. This enables users to speak and the iPad types what they say on the screen, though the iPad must have an internet connection (via Wi-Fi or cellular network) because the speech is processed by Apple servers.[12] Apple also began giving away its popular iLife (iPhoto, iMovie, Garageband) and iWork (Pages, Keynote, Numbers) apps with the device.

On June 8, 2015, it was announced at the WWDC that the iPad Air would support most of iOS 9's new features when it is released in Q3 2015.[13] Air users with iOS 9 will be able to take advantage of two features called Slide Over and Picture in Picture. Slide Over allows a user to "slide" a second app in from the side of the screen in a smaller window, and have it display information alongside the initial app. Picture in Picture allows a user to watch video in a small, resizable, moveable window while remaining in another app. Another feature, dubbed Split View (which allows the user to run two apps simultaneously in a 50/50 view), will not be supported by the Air, instead it will only run on iPad Air 2.

Design

The iPad Air marks the first major design change for the iPad since the iPad 2; it now has a thinner design that is 7.5 millimeters thick and has a smaller screen bezel similar to the iPad Mini. Apple reduced the overall volume for the iPad Air by using thinner components resulting in a 22% reduction in weight over the iPad 2.[14] Though it still uses the same 9.7-inch Retina Display as the previous iPad model,[15] an improved front-facing camera makes using FaceTime much clearer.[16] The new front-facing camera is capable of video in 720p HD, includes face detection, and backside illumination. The rear camera received an upgrade as well; now being called the iSight camera, in addition to the same functions as the front camera it also contains a 5MP CMOS, hybrid IR filter and a fixed ƒ/2.4 aperture.[17]

As with previous generations, Apple continued to use recyclable materials. The enclosure of the iPad Air is milled from a solid block of aluminium making it 100% recyclable. The iPad Air is also free of harmful materials such as BFRs and PVC.[14]

Hardware

Although the Air inherits most of the same hardware components from the iPhone 5S, such as its 64-bit Apple A7 system-on-chip and Apple M7 motion processor, it uses the same home button that was built in previous iPad models and therefore does not support Touch ID and fingerprint sensor. The A7 present in the iPad Air is slightly different however, in that it does not use a PoP design which stacks the RAM on top of the SoC.[18] It also features a metal heat spreader to compensate for the slightly faster clock speed and better thermal management. The Air also includes a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, a FaceTime HD front-facing camera, support for 802.11n, and an estimated 10 hours of battery life.[15] It boots faster than any previous iPad model.[19]

As with all previous generations of iPhone and iPad hardware, there are four buttons and one switch on the iPad Air. With the device in its portrait orientation, these are: a "home" button on the face of the device under the display that returns the user to the home screen, a wake/sleep button on the top edge of the device, and two buttons on the upper right side of the device performing volume up/down functions, under which is a switch whose function varies according to device settings, functioning either to switch the device into or out of silent mode or to lock/unlock the orientation of the screen.[20] In addition, the WiFi only version weighs 469 grams while the cellular model weighs 478 grams – over 25% lighter than their respective predecessors.[20][21] The display responds to other sensors: an ambient light sensor to adjust screen brightness and a 3-axis accelerometer to sense orientation and switch between portrait and landscape modes.[22] Unlike the iPhone and iPod Touch's built-in applications, which work in three orientations (portrait, landscape-left and landscape-right), the iPad's built-in applications support screen rotation in all four orientations, including upside-down. Consequently, the device has no intrinsic "native" orientation; only the relative position of the home button changes.[20]

The iPad Air is available with 16, 32, 64 or 128 GB of internal flash memory, with no expansion option. However, as of the announcement of the iPad Air 2 on October 16, 2014, the 64 and 128 GB versions of the iPad Air have been discontinued; the 16 and 32 GB versions are still offered, but at a lower price. Apple also sells a "camera connection kit" with an SD card reader, but it can only be used to transfer photos and videos.[20]

All models can connect to a wireless LAN and offer dual band Wi-Fi support. The tablet is also manufactured either with or without the capability to communicate over a cellular network. The iPad Air (and the iPad Mini 2) cellular model comes in two variants, both of which support nano-SIMs, quad-band GSM, penta-band UMTS, and dual-band CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and B. Additionally, one variant also supports LTE bands 1-5, 7, 8, 13, 17-20, 25 and 26 while the other variant supports LTE bands 1-3, 5, 7, 8, 18-20 and TD-LTE bands 38, 39 and 40. Apple's ability to handle many different bands in one device allowed it to offer, for the first time, a single iPad variant which supports all the cellular bands and technologies deployed by all the major North American wireless providers at the time of the device's introduction.

The audio playback of the iPad Air is in stereo with two speakers located on either side of the Lightning connector.

Reception

Critical reception

The iPad Air has received mainly positive reviews. Writing for AnandTech, Anand Lal Shimpi writes that the iPad Air "feels like a true successor to the iPad 2," praising it for its reduced weight and size. Shimpi further states that the Air "hits a balance of features, design and ergonomics that I don’t think we’ve ever seen in the iPad."[23] UK Editor-in-Chief of TechRadar, Patrick Goss, gave the iPad Air a positive review, giving praise to the A7 chip and camera upgrades, as well as the crisp and colorful display. He concludes by stating: "It's hard to put into words how much Apple has improved the iPad, offering a stunning level of detail and power with a build quality that's unrivalled."[24] Christina Bonnington of Wired awarded the Air a rating of 8 out of 10, calling the performance "outstanding" and noting that high-definition video streams and gaming animations are "smooth and stutter free." She also praised the loading speeds of the web browsers.

Criticism

Bonnington criticized the speakers for being slightly muddled.[25] Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak criticized the focus on decreasing size and weight rather than increasing storage space and stated that he did not want an iPad Air as it did not fit his personal needs.[26][27] Dave Smith of International Business Times wrote two less positive reviews for the Air, arguing that while the device is nice, it does not bring anything new to the iPad. Smith strongly criticized the lack of Touch ID, and noted that the updates, such as the increased speed and the decreased size and weight, are only slight improvements.[28][29]

Commercial reception

The launch date for the iPad Air did not see as large of a turnout as usual for Apple products; however, this was expected by analysts due to the delayed release of the iPad Mini 2.[30] The Air sold out in Hong Kong two hours after becoming available online.[31]

Timeline

Source: Apple press release library[32]

References

  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ {apple.com}
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ The Apple shows off iPad split-screen multitasking in iOS 9 preview. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^ a b
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ a b c d
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ Anand Lal Shimpi (October 29, 2013) "The iPad Air Review" AnandTech Retrieved on November 1, 2013
  24. ^ Patrick Goss (October 29th, 2013) "Hands on: iPad Air review" TechRadar Retrieved on November 1, 2013
  25. ^ Christina Bonnington (November 6, 2013). "Apple iPad Air: Air Worthy" Wired. Retrieved on November 9, 2013
  26. ^ Marc Chacksfield (October 23, 2013) "Steve Wozniak: The new iPads just aren't for me" TechRadar Retrieved on November 1, 2013
  27. ^
  28. ^ Dave Smith (November 02 2013). "Apple iPad ‘5’ Air Review: 3 Major Disappointments In The New Fifth-Generation iPad." International Business Times. Retrieved on November 14, 2013.
  29. ^ Dave Smith (November 09 2013). "Apple iPad Air Review: Don’t Believe The Hype, A.K.A. The Unpopular Opinion." International Business Times. Retrieved on November 14, 2013.
  30. ^ Chris O'Brien (November 1, 2013). "Crowds are light for the new iPad Air". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on November 3, 2013.
  31. ^ Jeremy Blum (01 November, 2013). "iPad Air sells out in two hours on Hong Kong Online Apple Store" South China Morning Post. Retrieved November 3, 3013
  32. ^ Apple Inc. (2010–2011). Press Release Library. Retrieved April 3, 2011.

External links

  • iPad Air – official site
  • iPad Air Official Features - Tablet Hub
Preceded by
iPad (4th generation)
iPad Air
5th generation
Succeeded by
iPad Air 2
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