iPad The new iPad Air - Tentpole Features

TheDeviceUser

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 20, 2014
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With the release of the new iPad expected to now be just weeks away, I thought I'd compile a list of what I think could be 'tentpole' features of the new device. I think this will be a significant update, especially when it comes to software as well considering that the iPad seems somewhat neglected over the past few years.

Here's my predictions.

1. Retina HD Display (The same PPI as iPhone 6 Plus)
2. Apple A8X/M8 Chips (The X to drive the higher resolution, Retina HD Display)
3. New iSight Camera (5 megapixels, but with many of the features of the iPhone 6)
4. 802.11ac Wifi
5. Split Screen Multi-Tasking
6. Touch ID
7. Apple Pay (Possible that there'll be no NFC antenna, only secure element to make in-app purchases with Apple Pay. Passbook coming to new iPad Air as a result)

16GB, 64GB and 128GB Storage Options. Available in Sliver, Gold and Space Grey.


What do you think? Feel free to criticise/suggest some of your own below.
 

s2mikey

macrumors 68020
Sep 23, 2013
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Upstate, NY
I don't see split screen multitasking happening. Not sure on the retina HD display but that's possible. The camera upgrade is also possible. Agree on the chip upgrade. Touch ID and apple pay are no brainers. A wifi performance jump is also likely.

The 2GB of RAM is probably the biggest one people want to know about. Even though I haven't had any issues a lot of people feel it's time for the iPad to get more RAM.
 

Zcott

macrumors 68020
Oct 18, 2009
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Belfast, Ireland
I don't see Apple Pay coming to the iPad, considering there's no Passbook app and there's never even been a hint of it. Touch ID a no brainer, but Apple Pay isn't happening.
 

LostSoul80

macrumors 68020
Jan 25, 2009
2,136
7
Why the M8? You don't carry your tablet always with you like your phone.
I also don't see NFC making it to the iPad. Like more RAM, and a higher resolution. I would expect a different design, and perhaps a larger battery.
 

johannnn

macrumors 68000
Nov 20, 2009
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Less blank tabs in Safari please? iOS7+8 uses up most of the 1gb ram already, and some of the leftover ram goes to that big retina screen
 

Charliebird

macrumors 6502a
Mar 10, 2010
838
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I hope I'm wrong but the rub is that the iPhone 6+ and the iPad Air screen resolutions are close enough I'm sure I see the justification for the A8X chip upgrade.

iPhone 6+ 1,920 x 1,080
iPad Air/rMini 2048 x 1536
 

kmj2318

macrumors 68000
Aug 22, 2007
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582
Naples, FL
I definitely don't see the PPI changing. I think the current screens are good enough. And they can already be considered Retina HD because they can display full HD– Apple doesn't call the 6 screens Retina HD because of the PPI, the call it that because of the screen size. I don't see the benefit to add in all of the complexities, such as the complex scaling, for something not too significant.

Touch ID, most likely.

I think they will add some interesting things to iOS for iPad because they have to, but it won't be too groundbreaking.
 

jimlaing

macrumors newbie
Mar 3, 2009
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0
Central NC
Tentpole?

What does "tentpole" mean? Why that word vs. "major" or "main"?
I'm just curious - I've always been curious about how new uses
of words come into being...

-Jim
 

PinkyMacGodess

macrumors 601
Mar 7, 2007
4,719
1,492
Midwest America.
What does "tentpole" mean? Why that word vs. "major" or "main"?
I'm just curious - I've always been curious about how new uses
of words come into being...

-Jim
Cause an erection, in a human male. Usually while sleeping, hence 'tent pole in the sheets'.

Personally I'm not that attached to my iPad's, but whatever...
 

MacTCE

macrumors 6502
Dec 20, 2013
476
15
Upstate NY
I'm actually hoping now with the release of the 6 and 6+ that Apple announces the rumored 12" iPad. It's a stretch, but that's what I'd like to see.
 

TheDeviceUser

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 20, 2014
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U.K
What does "tentpole" mean? Why that word vs. "major" or "main"?
I'm just curious - I've always been curious about how new uses
of words come into being...

-Jim
It was a term Steve Jobs used with the preview of iOS 4 in 2010. It basically means the top features Apple wants to talk about. Therefore, for the iPhone 5s, there was 3 tentpole features. The new camera, A7 Chip and Touch ID.
 

Angriff

macrumors member
Dec 28, 2013
95
0
With the release of the new iPad expected to now be just weeks away, I thought I'd compile a list of what I think could be 'tentpole' features of the new device. I think this will be a significant update, especially when it comes to software as well considering that the iPad seems somewhat neglected over the past few years.

Here's my predictions.

1. Retina HD Display (The same PPI as iPhone 6 Plus)
2. Apple A8X/M8 Chips (The X to drive the higher resolution, Retina HD Display)
3. New iSight Camera (5 megapixels, but with many of the features of the iPhone 6)
4. 802.11ac Wifi
5. Split Screen Multi-Tasking
6. Touch ID
7. Apple Pay (Possible that there'll be no NFC antenna, only secure element to make in-app purchases with Apple Pay. Passbook coming to new iPad Air as a result)

16GB, 64GB and 128GB Storage Options. Available in Sliver, Gold and Space Grey.


What do you think? Feel free to criticise/suggest some of your own below.
1. If they increase the resolution on the iPad Air, it won't be to the 401 PPI of the 6+, more like ~330 like the iPhones and the rMini. 1280x960 points doubled to a 2560x1920 resolution seems like the most likely bet IF we get a higher res "Retina HD" display.
2. I do think an A8X is likely, but it may not happen. The 6 core PowerVR GPU rumored for the iPhone 6 models seems like a likely candidate for the GPU if it does happen. I do expect to get 2 GB of RAM, as the RAM isn't stacked on the processor die in the iPads anyway using the A8 doesn't necessary mean sticking with 1 GB of RAM.
3. Sounds about right.
4. For sure.
5. I don't think we'll see this on the iPad Air, I expect it to remain a feature held back for the iPad Pro (or Plus, whatever they want to call it). Splitting a 9.7" 4:3 display just doesn't really make much sense, you end up with 2 4.85" 3:2 displays functionally, which don't give you more real estate than an iPhone screen. You wouldn't be able to use apps with iPad UI at all.
6. I would be utterly SHOCKED if there is no TouchID.
7. You've got it right here too. TouchID will allow Apple Pay for in-app and online purchases but the lack of NFC will mean no in-store use, either as POS or as a client.
 

TheDeviceUser

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 20, 2014
589
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U.K
1. If they increase the resolution on the iPad Air, it won't be to the 401 PPI of the 6+, more like ~330 like the iPhones and the rMini. 1280x960 points doubled to a 2560x1920 resolution seems like the most likely bet IF we get a higher res "Retina HD" display.
2. I do think an A8X is likely, but it may not happen. The 6 core PowerVR GPU rumored for the iPhone 6 models seems like a likely candidate for the GPU if it does happen. I do expect to get 2 GB of RAM, as the RAM isn't stacked on the processor die in the iPads anyway using the A8 doesn't necessary mean sticking with 1 GB of RAM.
3. Sounds about right.
4. For sure.
5. I don't think we'll see this on the iPad Air, I expect it to remain a feature held back for the iPad Pro (or Plus, whatever they want to call it). Splitting a 9.7" 4:3 display just doesn't really make much sense, you end up with 2 4.85" 3:2 displays functionally, which don't give you more real estate than an iPhone screen. You wouldn't be able to use apps with iPad UI at all.
6. I would be utterly SHOCKED if there is no TouchID.
7. You've got it right here too. TouchID will allow Apple Pay for in-app and online purchases but the lack of NFC will mean no in-store use, either as POS or as a client.
How awesome, just on the pure spec numbers would a 4096 X 3072 be! That would be 527ppi so virtually impossible with current technology for an iPad but it would be awesome. Probably have to have an A8XX to power it!
 

Noble Actual

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2014
851
501
Nothing really revolutionary...

Same design as iPad Air but with gold option
A8 chip + M8 coprocessor
Touch ID
802.11ac Wi-Fi + More LTE bands
New FaceTime HD & iSight cameras
iOS 8.1 with Apple Pay
 

Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
1,863
698
Hawaii, USA
Don't see Apple Pay making it onto any iPad.. who would seriously take their iPads to go shopping and then pull it out to pay with?
Think about it the other way around: with a NFC chip inside, the iPads would be able to act as receiving points for Apple Pay. Some companies already use iPads as point-of-sale devices, but they need to buy add-on hardware to process credit cards. If the iPad requires no additional hardware investment to process sales, it becomes a more compelling device for retailers. Granted, traditional credit cards aren't going anywhere fast and the NFC chip would need to be opened up to third-party applications so that Android phones with NFC would also be able to interact with such iPads, but it's a possibility.

The other element to consider is that while NFC is the technology behind all of this new payment buzz, it's not limited in application to payments. It's very possible that Apple has some planned, future usage for the NFC chip beyond Apple Pay, and that it wants to begin placing the technology into current devices in preparation.

On final consideration, if people whip out their iPads to take photos, I suppose it's not too crazy to imagine that they'd use them for making purchases, too...
 

TheDeviceUser

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 20, 2014
589
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U.K
Think about it the other way around: with a NFC chip inside, the iPads would be able to act as receiving points for Apple Pay. Some companies already use iPads as point-of-sale devices, but they need to buy add-on hardware to process credit cards. If the iPad requires no additional hardware investment to process sales, it becomes a more compelling device for retailers. Granted, traditional credit cards aren't going anywhere fast and the NFC chip would need to be opened up to third-party applications so that Android phones with NFC would also be able to interact with such iPads, but it's a possibility.

The other element to consider is that while NFC is the technology behind all of this new payment buzz, it's not limited in application to payments. It's very possible that Apple has some planned, future usage for the NFC chip beyond Apple Pay, and that it wants to begin placing the technology into current devices in preparation.

On final consideration, if people whip out their iPads to take photos, I suppose it's not too crazy to imagine that they'd use them for making purchases, too...
Yep, I think this could be a solid reason as why they could add NFC to the new iPad. Could go either way though. However, I think iPad payments would probably have to be limited only to the 3G iPads.
 

iMacmatician

macrumors 601
Jul 20, 2008
4,249
55
2. Apple A8X/M8 Chips (The X to drive the higher resolution, Retina HD Display)
I don't think the iPad Air 2014 will have an A8X or a higher-than-2048x1536 resolution display since I think the focus will be on a thinner and lighter device. More generally, for each iPad line in the A8 generation, I think we will see both or neither.

5. Split Screen Multi-Tasking
I'm not sure if we'll see that this year, but if/when it shows up I think it will appear in all current-gen iPads of that time.

6. Touch ID
I'm confident that we will see this feature.

16GB, 64GB and 128GB Storage Options. Available in Sliver, Gold and Space Grey.
I'd say these are likely.

5. I don't think we'll see this on the iPad Air, I expect it to remain a feature held back for the iPad Pro (or Plus, whatever they want to call it). Splitting a 9.7" 4:3 display just doesn't really make much sense, you end up with 2 4.85" 3:2 displays functionally, which don't give you more real estate than an iPhone screen. You wouldn't be able to use apps with iPad UI at all.
Diagonal measurements aren't additive like that. Halving the iPad Air's display like you mentioned would give almost exactly 7 inches per half. Also, for what it's worth, that video of the iOS simulator showing split-screen functionality shows it using the iPhone GUI (or something similar) for any screen taking up 1/2 or less of the total display. I wouldn't be surprised if the iPad "Pro" has more splitting options though.
 

Angriff

macrumors member
Dec 28, 2013
95
0
I don't think the iPad Air 2014 will have an A8X or a higher-than-2048x1536 resolution display since I think the focus will be on a thinner and lighter device. More generally, for each iPad line in the A8 generation, I think we will see both or neither.

I'm not sure if we'll see that this year, but if/when it shows up I think it will appear in all current-gen iPads of that time.

I'm confident that we will see this feature.

I'd say these are likely.

Diagonal measurements aren't additive like that. Halving the iPad Air's display like you mentioned would give almost exactly 7 inches per half. Also, for what it's worth, that video of the iOS simulator showing split-screen functionality shows it using the iPhone GUI (or something similar) for any screen taking up 1/2 or less of the total display. I wouldn't be surprised if the iPad "Pro" has more splitting options though.
Wow, duh. I don't know what was going on with my brain when I posted that that I was thinking that way and put 4.85" displays. I still maintain that 7" 3:2 displays aren't big enough to give you a great UI though, since you're not getting the pixel density of the iPad Mini's 7.9" and not getting that much real estate. You're only getting 768x512 points, which is half the real UI real estate of an iPad Mini. I don't see Apps switching between phone UI and iPad UI as something Apple would really want to release to consumers. I still think a 3:2 aspect ratio iPad Pro 12.9" screen splitting to two 4:3 displays that are nearly as usable as full iPads will be what Apple holds this feature back for.

If they do increase the iPad air resolution with a "Retina HD" display of something like 1280x960, I could see them enabling split screen multitasking since it'd give them a lot more points to play around with for UI for split screen on the same actual area.
 

insoc

macrumors member
Oct 23, 2012
60
0
Hopefully they reduce the weight to make it more lighter, iPad Mini lighter if that could be possible.
 

tmarks11

macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2010
509
32
Hopefully they reduce the weight to make it more lighter, iPad Mini lighter if that could be possible.
Hopefully they make it thinner so you can fold it up and stick it in your pocket...

oh, wait...

I don't see how they can shave any weight without making the glass thiner (it already flexes) and removing metal from the shell.

What is the fixation with "thinner thinner thinner"? The thing is TOO thin already, and is going to lose more structural integrity if it gets any thinner.

What does "tentpole" mean?
Cause an erection, in a human male. Usually while sleeping, hence 'tent pole in the sheets'.
It was a term Steve Jobs used...
hmm, I have my doubts that this was Jobs true meaning... but who know, just because he coined a term doesn't mean it doesn't take on life and meaning far beyond what he intended...

I suspect that he meant one of the major new features that would make people want it (like the pole holding up a tent). Perhaps he should have ran his speech past some of the younger folks around him to find out what their reaction was before he went prime time.
 
Last edited:

insoc

macrumors member
Oct 23, 2012
60
0
Hopefully they make it thinner so you can fold it up and stick it in your pocket...

oh, wait...

I don't see how they can shave any weight without making the glass thiner (it already flexes) and removing metal from the shell.

What is the fixation with "thinner thinner thinner"? The thing is TOO thin already, and is going to lose more structural integrity if it gets any thinner.




hmm, I have my doubts that this was Jobs true meaning... but who know, just because he coined a term doesn't mean it doesn't take on life and meaning far beyond what he intended...

I suspect that he meant one of the major new features that would make people want it (like the pole holding up a tent). Perhaps he should have ran his speech past some of the younger folks around him to find out what their reaction was before he went prime time.
Did I say "thinner"? No, I said lighter, much much lighter, NOT thinner.
 

Tara Davis

macrumors regular
Mar 29, 2007
130
0
NFC is the feature that will sell me on a mini.

I don't want a phone. I want to just do Skype calling with an inbound number leased from Skype. I'm seriously over and done with shelling out sixty bucks a month for a phone plan when I flat-out don't need it.

T-Mobile's iPad data plan is free for the months when you are under 200MB of mobile data, which is an easy number for me to stay under because I rarely am away from Wi-Fi. Free is good. I like free. That's my favorite price.

But I do like the concept of retail ApplePay and I'd like to be able to use it. If I replace my phone with an iPad mini (which is what I'm considering), I'll have it with me 24/7 in my purse. Basically it will be a bigger, better iPhone 6 Plus that costs me about $1500 less over a two year period.
 
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