All iPads A10 more future proof then we thought?

UnLiMiTeD558

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Considering Apple is very well known for supporting their devices with software updates for several years, is it safe to say this A10 fusion is safe?

They decided to keep it around for another year in their latest iPad, I would assume they are confident this chip has some decent mileage left in it. I know the A10 was a big leap for Apple when it first came out and significantly faster than their A9 (which they are still supporting as well). It seems they felt it was a big enough leap to be supported a bit longer than their previous chips before it.

The point of this is I have 3 kids at home on some cheap android tablets that are at their performance limit for their app and game usage right now. They are troopers, rarely complain about the performance, but I’ve looked over their shoulders when they play minecraft and watch it turn into a slideshow at times lol

Would it be safe to say investing into a few 6th gens would be good for atleast 3+ years of reliable usage?

Canadian prices suck, even a base model air 3 is $650 each. I can get an open box 6th gen for $$349 or some lightly used ones for a little over $300.
 
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Elitegate

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I'm sure it will get iOS 14 and possibly even iOS 15 and performance is definitely still alright. Now the 6th/7th gen iPad is the regular, entry-level "budget" one for 329 USD. If you want more power, or a longer-lasting chip you'll should buy the iPad Air 10.5" or iPad mini 5. That is how Apple is seeing it. And the dimensions of both the 10.2" and the 10.5" Air are definitely similar. (Except for the fact that the Air has a laminated display). They even share the same cases now. It's just how it is. The 10.5" is Apple's main iPad now and it replaced the 9.7 inch. The iPad Air with the A12 chip is the best regular iPad they have, not talking about the Pro line. Of course you can get an iPad for less with a just slightly smaller screen, but you'll only get the A10. I'm also in the same boat, i kinda want an iPad, but i don't want to shell out the money for the Air 10.5". I am a bit disappointed, i expected atleast the A11 chip and 64 / 256 GB size options. Instead of the same A10 chip and the same 32 / 128 GB option. Apple really doesn't like to upgrade their entry-level iPad it seems, even though it's the best selling one.

iPad Air 2 released in 2014 and they sold that one until March 2017 when they finally gave us the 5th gen iPad. After a year, the 6th gen with almost no upgrades. The only difference is a chip improvement (going from A9 to the A10), Apple Pencil Support and a different gold color. That was the 6th gen. Now the 7th gen: Larger 10.2" screen, thinner bezels, slightly higher resolution, and support for the Bluetooth keyboard.
 
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Falhófnir

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It seems Apple is decoupling the support of iPhones and iPads as far as chipsets go, the A8/X based Air 2 and mini 4 are receiving i(pad)OS 13 while the A8 based iPhone 6 will not. given support for the Air 2, it's quite likely the 6th gen will be supported up to and including iOS 15, so you should go 3 years no problem.
 
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rui no onna

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It seems Apple is decoupling the support of iPhones and iPads as far as chipsets go, the A8/X based Air 2 and mini 4 are receiving i(pad)OS 13 while the A8 based iPhone 6 will not. given support for the Air 2, it's quite likely the 6th gen will be supported up to and including iOS 15, so you should go 3 years no problem.
They've done that before: iPod touch 4th gen, OG iPad and iPhone 4.

I think Apple just goes by overall performance. Albeit, I think their previous performance targets for deciding which devices get an update are too low. For example, the Apple A5, they should've just stopped on iOS 7.
 
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Elitegate

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It seems Apple is decoupling the support of iPhones and iPads as far as chipsets go, the A8/X based Air 2 and mini 4 are receiving i(pad)OS 13 while the A8 based iPhone 6 will not. given support for the Air 2, it's quite likely the 6th gen will be supported up to and including iOS 15, so you should go 3 years no problem.
The iPhone 6 (Plus) only had 1 GB of RAM, while the iPad Air 2 / mini 4 both have 2 GBs. I think it’s because of that.
 

joeblow7777

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I remember when Apple launched the 6th gen iPad they bragged that the A10 Fusion processor made it more powerful than most laptops/chromebooks. I think that Apple's mobile processors have been overkill for most people's usage for some time now.

What's more, has Apple ever released an iOS device that hasn't had at least 3 years of support and reasonable performance? So since Apple is releasing an iPad with A10 this month, I would say that it's reasonable to expect some decent longevity from the 6th and 7th gen ipads.
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The only difference is a chip improvement (going from A9 to the A10), Apple Pencil Support and a different gold color. That was the 6th gen. Now the 7th gen: Larger 10.2" screen, thinner bezels, slightly higher resolution, and support for the Bluetooth keyboard.
You mean support for the SmartConnector keyboard. iPads have supported Bluetooth keyboards since... always?
 
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Elitegate

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I remember when Apple launched the 6th gen iPad they bragged that the A10 Fusion processor made it more powerful than most laptops/chromebooks. I think that Apple's mobile processors have been overkill for most people's usage for some time now.

What's more, has Apple ever released an iOS device that hasn't had at least 3 years of support and reasonable performance? So since Apple is releasing an iPad with A10 this month, I would say that it's reasonable to expect some decent longevity from the 6th and 7th gen ipads.
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You mean support for the SmartConnector keyboard. iPads have supported Bluetooth keyboards since... always?
Yes, i meant the Smart Keyboard that is directly from Apple. Sorry, no idea how it's called.
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They've done that before: iPod touch 4th gen, OG iPad and iPhone 4.

I think Apple just goes by overall performance. Albeit, I think their previous performance targets for deciding which devices get an update are too low. For example, the Apple A5, they should've just stopped on iOS 7.
A5 chipset devices were alright on iOS 8. But after that, they should have definitely stopped. iOS 9 was a nightmare for those devices. And iOS 7 for the iPhone 4 wasn't great either...
 

Elitegate

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They've done that before: iPod touch 4th gen, OG iPad and iPhone 4.

I think Apple just goes by overall performance. Albeit, I think their previous performance targets for deciding which devices get an update are too low. For example, the Apple A5, they should've just stopped on iOS 7.
iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4th gen shared the same chip (A4), but the iPod touch 4G only had 256 MB of RAM while the iPhone 4 had 512 MB. I think it's more of a RAM issue than CPU.

But no idea why the 1st iPad never got iOS 6... also A4 chip and 256 MB of RAM. Should have been enough for iOS 6. Maybe it was because of the higher resolution that the Tablet screen brought(1024x768), meaning the CPU/GPU has to work harder on an iPad than on the iPhone 4 for example that had the 640p screen.
 

rui no onna

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What's more, has Apple ever released an iOS device that hasn't had at least 3 years of support and reasonable performance?
Yes, in the early days before their chipsets caught up to x86.
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iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4th gen shared the same chip (A4), but the iPod touch 4G only had 256 MB of RAM while the iPhone 4 had 512 MB. I think it's more of a RAM issue than CPU.

But no idea why the 1st iPad never got iOS 6... also A4 chip and 256 MB of RAM. Should have been enough for iOS 6. Maybe it was because of the higher resolution that the Tablet screen brought(1024x768), meaning the CPU/GPU has to work harder on an iPad than on the iPhone 4 for example that had the 640p screen.
I expect the resolution is exactly why. I skipped OG iPad because the experience with 256MB RAM on 640x480 display was already bad, never mind 1024x768.

As I mentioned, Apple probably looks at overall performance and not purely at a single component of CPU, GPU or RAM.
 
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Falhófnir

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They've done that before: iPod touch 4th gen, OG iPad and iPhone 4.

I think Apple just goes by overall performance. Albeit, I think their previous performance targets for deciding which devices get an update are too low. For example, the Apple A5, they should've just stopped on iOS 7.
Yeah they did initially seem to take more of a per-device approach to support earlier on, from the A5 generation they brought the devices into line on RAM, all A5 devices excepting the iPad 3 (A5X/1GB) got 512MB, I wonder if this was a deliberate move to make it more straightforward managing device capability (i.e. if they all have the same spec, theoretically they should all manage running the same OS/ apps near identically) - it also seems to have happened around the time the number of iDevice SKUs started going up significantly, so maybe deciding on a per device basis had become impractical?

I wonder if this will open up the way for devices to just be supported based on when they launched, that would be a big thing for the 5th and 6th ten iPads as they both launched with over a year old chipset, meaning ordinarily you'd expect 1 fewer years of support if Apple dropped them based on the 'iPhone' schedule...

The iPhone 6 (Plus) only had 1 GB of RAM, while the iPad Air 2 / mini 4 both have 2 GBs. I think it’s because of that.
Sure, what I was getting at though is that by formalising the iOS split Apple have opened up the door to start doing this (again) whereas previously you might have expected them to have dropped based on chipset generation, so even if the Air 2 and mini 4 were capable enough with 2GB RAM, because to was the end of the line for the iPhone 6 they would have got the chop too so they could remove A8 based systems altogether. So to bring this back to OP's original question, it might be the iPhone 7 series isn't supported on iOS 15, but the iPad 6th gen might get that version, because it launched over a year later, and the 7th gen could be supported on iOS 16 (if it has 3GB RAM for e.g.)
 

Crow_Servo

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With different phones from the same year getting different amounts of RAM, this could get rather complicated to predict. The iPhone 7 has 2 GB of RAM, but the 7 Plus has 3 GB of RAM, if I’m not mistaken. Same thing with the 8 and 8 Plus, respectively. So the 7th gen iPad (with 3 GB of RAM supposedly) could get a year or more of support than the 6th gen iPad and regular iPhone 7, in theory.
 

EugW

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It's going to be hard to predict how long support is going to be for A10 devices. Yes, A10 is a great chip, not only because of decent performance (>1400 in Geekbench 5, faster than 1st generation iPad Pro), but also because it supports both hardware HEVC decoding and hardware HEVC encoding. But as @Crow_Servo says, different devices with A10 have different amounts of RAM.

At this point, if I were buying a budget iPad, the only one I would consider would be the 10.2" iPad, assuming it really does have 3 GB RAM.

Note that this 3 GB RAM not only affects device longevity, but also affects everyday usage for some people, since 2 GB RAM is really starting to be limiting in Safari for example.

@UnLiMiTeD558, where are you seeing the open box 6th gen models? Beware, as Apple may not reset the warranties on these so you're dealing with shortened warranties. For example, I bought a 32 GB Apple TV 4K from Best Buy Canada (not a 3rd party seller on Best Buy's site), and Apple refused to provide a full-year warranty on the item. Thus, I just returned the Apple TV instead and bought from Apple's refurb store later.
 
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UnLiMiTeD558

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It's going to be hard to predict how long support is going to be for A10 devices. Yes, A10 is a great chip, not only because of decent performance (>1400 in Geekbench 5, faster than 1st generation iPad Pro), but also because it supports both hardware HEVC decoding and hardware HEVC encoding. But as @Crow_Servo says, different devices with A10 have different amounts of RAM.

At this point, if I were buying a budget iPad, the only one I would consider would be the 10.2" iPad, assuming it really does have 3 GB RAM.

Note that this 3 GB RAM not only affects device longevity, but also affects everyday usage for some people, since 2 GB RAM is really starting to be limiting in Safari for example.

@UnLiMiTeD558, where are you seeing the open box 6th gen models? Beware, as Apple may not reset the warranties on these so you're dealing with shortened warranties. For example, I bought a 32 GB Apple TV 4K from Best Buy Canada (not a 3rd party seller on Best Buy's site), and Apple refused to provide a full-year warranty on the item. Thus, I just returned the Apple TV instead and bought from Apple's refurb store later.
Openbox.ca they been around awhile and have a good reputation. I believe I read somewhere that they still have a full warranty

I would like to see for sure if this new iPad does have the extra ram as I would be interested. If it’s still 2gb then it’s not worth paying extra for it
 

EugW

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Openbox.ca they been around awhile and have a good reputation.
Overall decent reviews, but there are some quite bad individual cases if you look through the reviews.

I believe I read somewhere that they still have a full warranty
YMMV.

I would like to see for sure if this new iPad does have the extra ram as I would be interested. If it’s still 2gb then it’s not worth paying extra for it
I agree. Wait to see if 3 GB is confirmed.
 

UnLiMiTeD558

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Overall decent reviews, but there are some quite bad individual cases if you look through the reviews.


YMMV.


I agree. Wait to see if 3 GB is confirmed.
Yea for sure, theres no rush in my end for this, kids are still happily using their lg tablets right now. they don’t need the iPad Air or anything like that, two 6 year olds and an 11 year old. But definitely would appreciate an update to a current model iPad im sure. Especially when they see me playing the angry birds AR game lol
 

EugW

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My 5 and 7 year old will stay on iPad Air 2s for the foreseeable future. I think we'll get another 3 years out of them. Not bad, considering we bought the first one at launch in 2014, and then next one in 2015. So, 8 and 7 years total is my guess.

My wife will get my 2nd generation 4 GB iPad Pro 10.5", when I get the 4th generation 6 GB iPad Pro 11".
 

UnLiMiTeD558

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Thanks for all the insight everyone. Hopefully soon I’ll be upgrading the kids tablets away from these budget android ones. They have served their purpose very well for what I paid for them.
 

Homme

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Yes, i meant the Smart Keyboard that is directly from Apple. Sorry, no idea how it's called.
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A5 chipset devices were alright on iOS 8. But after that, they should have definitely stopped. iOS 9 was a nightmare for those devices. And iOS 7 for the iPhone 4 wasn't great either...
lol no, iOS 8 was a nightmare for A5 devices and iPad 3, so bad it was almost the iPhone 3G scenario regarding iOS 4

iOS 9 was more of a Update to fix the problems the A5 devices had on iOS 8

iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4th gen shared the same chip (A4), but the iPod touch 4G only had 256 MB of RAM while the iPhone 4 had 512 MB. I think it's more of a RAM issue than CPU.

But no idea why the 1st iPad never got iOS 6... also A4 chip and 256 MB of RAM. Should have been enough for iOS 6. Maybe it was because of the higher resolution that the Tablet screen brought(1024x768), meaning the CPU/GPU has to work harder on an iPad than on the iPhone 4 for example that had the 640p screen.
Yes. The screen resolution and the amount of pixels it had was more than the RAM can handle. The 3GS had a tiny screen resolution and tiny amount of pixels for example and they shared the same RAM.

With different phones from the same year getting different amounts of RAM, this could get rather complicated to predict. The iPhone 7 has 2 GB of RAM, but the 7 Plus has 3 GB of RAM, if I’m not mistaken. Same thing with the 8 and 8 Plus, respectively. So the 7th gen iPad (with 3 GB of RAM supposedly) could get a year or more of support than the 6th gen iPad and regular iPhone 7, in theory.
The plus models have an extra GB of RAM because the telephoto (the second camera) would require more RAM.
 

ACG12

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The A10 processor is still ok, but the problem is Apple crippling it with 2gb of RAM except for the iPhone 7+.

I honestly hate using my iPhone 7 sometimes because of the lack of RAM. Especially when I switch between it and my 10.5 Pro. It’s like night and day difference between the two devices.

At this point, I would not invest in an iOS device with less than 3gb of RAM and I would even argue 4gb should be the minimum if you keep your devices long term.
 
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EugW

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The A10 processor is still ok, but the problem is Apple crippling it with 2gb of RAM except for the iPhone 7+.

I honestly hate using my iPhone 7 sometimes because of the lack of RAM. Especially when I switch between it and my 10.5 Pro. It’s like night and day difference between the two devices.

At this point, I would not invest in an iOS device with less than 3gb of RAM and I would even argue 4gb should be the minimum if you keep your devices long term.
What’s your issue with the 2 GB RAM? I agree it can be limiting now for stuff like Safari reloads but are you encountering other issues as well?

I’m so glad I got the 3 GB in my 7 Plus. However, we still have 2 GB devices and apart from the annoying tab and app reloads, they’re still more than usable, but then again they are not our main devices.
 

UnLiMiTeD558

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I have the 6th gen ipad with 2gb ram and running it on the latest iOS 13.1 beta and it runs fantastic.

while I agree 3gb of ram is more future proof, it’s definitely not a deal breaker currently
 

EugW

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I have the 6th gen ipad with 2gb ram and running it on the latest iOS 13.1 beta and it runs fantastic.

while I agree 3gb of ram is more future proof, it’s definitely not a deal breaker currently
For me for a new machine in 2019, 2 GB RAM is a deal breaker, unless you're getting the 2 GB one for dirt cheap.
 
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UnLiMiTeD558

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For me for a new machine in 2019, 2 GB RAM is a deal breaker, unless you're getting the 2 GB one for dirt cheap.
I agree 3gb of ram should be the minimum in 2019, hell I think 4 should be since they want these to be replace a laptop more and more. But I don’t agree that devices with 2gb currently run like crap either
 
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