Category Archives: iPad Air 2

Balancing the iPhone 6S Plus and iPad Air 2

balancing iPad Air 2 and iPhone 6S Plus

I went large this year and bought the iPhone 6S Plus with 128 GB of storage. For the first week I ended up tucking the iPad away in the corner of my desk and doing 100% of my mobile tasks on the iPhone. The landscape column view of the 6S Plus coupled with the larger screen is just enough for me most of the time, even for couch surfing. It’s really empowering to have all of my photos and files so close at hand.

This new iPhone has made me re-evaluate the positioning of the iPad Air 2 in my life. I’ve been leaning hard on the idea of the iPad as a most-of-the-time computer. It’s not enough for everything — it can’t download video files from my camera and it can’t pull of what Final Cut Pro X can do — but it does most of what I need it do in just one pound. But then comes along this little upstart phone that can do most of the iPad’s job…and it fits right into my pocket (well, mostly).

However, over the weeks I’ve been finding the niche spots the iPad still really excels at, despite the presence of the iPhone 6S Plus.

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The New MacBook As An iPad Alternative 


The reviews of the new MacBook are out and they’re a little divided. Everyone seems to like the body and the lightness and the Retina Display, but opinions differ on the quality of the keyboard and the single port design.

But why am I talking about reviews of a new MacBook on an iPad website? That’s because there’s something that a few writers, like John Gruber at Daring Fireball or Christina Warren at Mashable, have picked up on: the new MacBook could function as an iPad-like device.

After all, at just two pounds, the new laptop is only slightly heavier than an iPad Air 2 and accompanying keyboard case. Then there’s the portability in terms of physical dimensions. This new MacBook is actually a little slimmer than the existing 11-inch MacBook Air, which means it’s about as bag-friendly as an iPad Air.

I’m actually entering a newfound era of iPad appreciation lately, and yet I admit I still find the new MacBook tempting as a possible iPad replacement. I’d be able to carry the computer everywhere just like I do with the iPad, but I could do so with the full power of OS X with me, without sacrificing the Retina Display.

The one majorly prohibitive aspect of the new laptop is its price: it’s over $1500 Canadian for the base model with 128 GB of storage. It does have the requisite 8GB of RAM I would want from a serious computer, but that amount of money is just too much to fork over for a device that could compete with the iPad for similar tasks and portability. I’ll stick to my current combo of a Retina MacBook Pro and iPad Air 2 for now.

All that said, I’m now even more excited to see how Apple refreshes the iPad lineup this fall. Force Touch looks so promising on the Apple Watch and MacBook, but I think it could really come into its own on the iPad.

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The iPad Air 2 On Vacation


I’ve written about the iPad as my sole computer before, but I think the story changes enough with each major OS upgrade that this really is a topic worth revisiting. I’m currently on vacation in Asia to visit family, and I’ve brought my iPad Air 2 and Logitech ultrathin keyboard to function as my main computer. I’ve loaded the iPad up with a few movies for the 10+ hour plane rides, podcasts for long car rides and traffic jams, and all of my photos.

Aside from making security checkpoints a breeze, I loved using the iPad for referencing my own travel itinerary while at the airport; and it really helped me cut down on the paper documentation I needed. All I ever really had was my passport, printed boarding pass, and the iPad took care of most everything else I needed to know or fill out.

There are a few downsides I’ve noticed along the way. I would have liked to write a little bit on the plane, but I realized that I couldn’t actually turn Bluetooth on during the plane ride, so my Ultrathin keyboard just stayed in my bag. [Edit Jan 15: Oh, I stand corrected by commenters and friends who have told me that you can, in fact, have Bluetooth on now. I’ll keep that in mind for the next trip!]

Now that I’ve landed and have some data with a traveller SIM on my iPhone, it would also be nice to tether with my iPhone over USB, but that just isn’t an option on iOS. The Personal Hotspot feature of iOS is unfortunately a little spotty at the moment, so it can be difficult to tether consistently.

I’be also had a errant thought about charging with the iPad. My dad is able to use his MacBook Pro to charge his iPhone, and I think it woul be an interesting platform mechanic to be able to charge an iPhone by plugging it into an iPad. This would require some sort of extra female Lightning port accessory, similar to the Camera Kit used by photographers, but I think it would be a handy option for charging an iPhone in a pinch. After all, the Air 2 has a huge 7340 MaH battery, which is more than enough to power an iPhone 5S (1560 MaH batt). I’m not sure how much extra tech would actually be required for an iPad to do this, but it would certainly empower the iPad’s status as a full fledged computer.

Pipe dreams aside, I have no regrets about the decision to leave my retina Macbook Pro at home. The trip feels a lot lighter for having a tablet instead of a full fledged computer, and yet this Air 2 is proving itself capable enough of doing whatever I need it to do so far.

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Jimmy Fallon Gives Everyone an iPad Air 2 on The Tonight Show

Tonight Show Stocking Stuffers

Everyone in The Tonight Show audience this past Wednesday night went home with a new iPad Air 2, as part of the  ‘Tonight Show Stocking Stuffers’ giveaways running throughout the week.

Fallon left it to The Audience Giveaway Carolers to unveil the iPads, and they did a nice job showing them off.

Tonight Show iPad Giveaway

The lucky audience members looked pretty impressed too.

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Android Police Writer Picks iPad Air 2 as Best Tablet in Holiday Gift Guide

iPad Air 2

David Ruddock, a writer for the Android Police site, has listed the iPad Air 2 as one of his Android Devices in the site’s holiday gift guide. He clearly feels that there’s no outstanding Android tablet that matches the iPad Air 2, and makes a fine case for the iPad Air 2 and the iPad line in general (emphasis mine):

The Air 2 is reliable, predictable, and very fast. iOS still has some tablet experience apps lacking Android equivalents, too, and while Android tablets do have some advantages (like a better Gmail app BY FAR), the iPad remains a no-brainer for me. If it’s my money being spent on a tablet, I’m going to buy the one I know is going to live up to a standard of quality – the iPad has been the gold standard in tablets since it was unveiled, and that hasn’t changed. I don’t see it changing any time soon, either.

It’s good to see an Android site writer who’s willing to praise the iPad and acknowledge that it’s still the standard that other tablets should be held to. We don’t always to play by ‘party lines’ when talking about mobile devices.

In that vein, I’d have to say I think the Nexus 7 (2013 edition) is a fantastic tablet – fast, powerful, and offering the best small tablet form factor I’ve seen yet.

Check out Ruddock’s iPad thoughts and the rest of the Android Police holiday picks here:

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New iPad TV Ad Is Titled ‘Change’

The latest new TV ad for the iPad hit the TV airwaves yesterday during yesterday’s NFL games. It’s called change and it’s a minute-long, fast-paced mashup of a range of different apps being put to use on the new iPad Air 2.

Here’s the text that accompanies the ad on the Apple site’s page for it:

iPad Air 2 isn’t just the thinnest and lightest iPad we’ve ever created. It’s the most powerful. From the studio to the classroom, the field to the garage, it’s helping people discover new and better ways to do the things they love. Imagine what you’ll do with it.

The apps shown in the ad include OBD Fusion, which offers guidance on optimizing your car’s performance, AutoCAD 360, iStopMotion for iPad, Post-it Plus, Adobe Lightroom, Codea, Paper by FiftyThree, and quite a few more – the full list of the apps shown is at this Apple page for the new ad.

Apple Insider says the ad ‘harkens back to playful iPod spots from years ago’ – and I’m not sure this is a great way to highlight the versatility of the iPad. I think the rapid-fire pace of it might not delver that message very clearly to potential new or novice iPad users. This sort of ad seems great for an iPod, because it’s a far more basic device in terms of what it does.

What do you all think of this new iPad TV ad?

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Jason Snell’s iPad Air 2 Review: It’s All About that RAM

iPad Air 2

I’m so tempted to add ‘no treble’ to this post title – but I won’t got there. :)

Jason Snell, the former lead editor of Macworld, has done a comprehensive and excellent review of the new iPad Air 2 – and it’s interesting to see his strong thoughts on the  iPad Air 2’s bump-up in RAM:

As I said at the start of this review, the most impressive thing about the iPad Air 2 is not its screen or its thinness or its camera, though those are all quite lovely. It’s the speed, and the extra RAM. Using the iPad Air 2 while flipping around from app to app feels like an entirely upgraded experience from performing the same tasks on my iPad mini 2. You learn to blot out the time you spend waiting for apps to open and Safari tabs to reload, but once you spend time on a device that doesn’t need to take those pauses, they become obvious. Painfully obvious.

Worth noting for all those occasions when somebody waxes lyrical about how iOS devices really don’t need more RAM.

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One Week With The iPad Air 2

iPad Air 2 review

I’ve had one week with the iPad Air 2 at this point, and because I use my tablet day in and day out, I can say it definitely feels like an upgrade over last year’s Air.

I honestly never felt that the initial Air needed to get thinner, but the Air 2 does set a new standard. Going from one device to the other is noticeable, but not shockingly so. It’s just something you get used to gradually. Another takeaway for me is the balance. There’s a 7% difference in weight between the old iPad Air and the new model, but I think the internals were likely re-balanced as well. The Air 2 feels just a little more comfortable and balanced in hand. However, if you’re looking for the drastic difference you’d felt going from an iPad 2 to an iPad mini, then you’ll have to look elsewhere.

The mute/lock switch was a casualty to the thinner form factor, and I used that switch quite a lot on my iPad Air. However, I’ve found myself already used to the change by now. I’m used to using Control Center on my iPhone for locking the device orientation, and it has quickly become second nature to do it on the iPad Air 2.

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The iPad Air 2 Has A Confirmed 2 GB of RAM

Gruber Says iPad Air 2 has 2GB RAM


iPad Air 2 reviews (TechCrunch | The Verge) are just hitting the Internet now, but I got all the news I needed earlier at 9pm EST when John Gruber tweeted the information above. It’s now confirmed that the iPad Air 2 has 2GB of RAM, which is double what the iPad Air had. I’d seen the rumours abound before Gruber’s tweet, of course, but I wanted to share that info only after it was vetted by someone who’d really check their sources.

I’m excited to test my Air 2 later this week and see what kind of difference this extra memory makes. I’m really hoping the memory can help Safari out.


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New iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 Pricing

iPad Air 2 Pricing

Earlier today Apple announced and previewed its two new iPads – the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3. The new models pack Touch ID, faster WiFi, a brand new 2nd gen 64-bit chip (for the iPad Air 2 only) and improved cameras.

The two new iPads are available for pre-order starting tomorrow and shipping will begin next week. Both come in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray.

Here’s the pricing rundown for the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3:

iPad Air 2

Starts at $499 for the 16GB Wifi model. The 64GB WiFi model is $599, and the 128GB model is $699.

Starts at $629 for the 16GB WiFi + Cellular (LTE) model. The 64GB WiFi + Cellular model is $729, and the 128GB model is $829.

As with all the new iPad models, this pricing tier follows the long-standing tradition with iPads – $100 more per storage bump and $130 more for the cellular / LTE models.

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