What features is the iPad Air lacking? Why did Apple skip the fingerprint sensor, pro model, and gold or plastic colours?
Will the next iPad get Touch ID?
When will Apple make an iPad Pro with a larger display?
What features will the iPad 6 released in 2014 contain?
The iPad 5 (sorry... iPad Air) may well be an amazing piece of industrial design: it’s smaller, much lighter and packs the all-new powerful 64-bit A7 processor. One thing’s for sure, there’s going to be a lot of happy iPad Air owners when it’s released on 1 November.
But for all that it does feel like a lot is missing from the iPad Air. Some of the features we saw introduced on the iPhone 5s seemed certain to arrive on the iPad.
Obviously Apple has other plans for its iPad Air, so here are several things that were missing from yesterday’s Apple Event.
iPad Air: No Touch ID
The lack of Touch ID on the iPad Air is the most obvious omission. The marquee new feature of the iPhone 5s makes the device both more secure and easier to unlock. It’s a great new addition and the more we use it the more impressed we are.
So why isn’t it on the iPad Air? Only Apple really knows but we guess Cupertino decided that it would cost too much to add. The iPhone 5s has gone up in price, whereas the iPad Air costs the same as the older iPad 4. Maybe Apple decided it’d just push the price up past what people wanted to pay. Maybe the additional security isn’t as important on the iPad as more theft-prone iPhone? Either way there’s no fingerprint scanner on the new iPad.
See: How to use Touch ID
Will Apple make a gold iPad Air?
Silver: check; Slate Grey: check! Gold, sorry that’s a no go. Many Macworld writers have been a tad dismissive of the Gold iPhone 5s, thinking it crosses into gaudy. But there’s no denying it’s extremely popular. And not just in China (where gold is regarded as more tasteful than in the West) but in the UK, where the impact of TOWIE is having its effect on the nation’s impressionable youth.
We’d have thought a gold model was a given, but nope: there’s no gold in them there hills. It’s a shame because we were extremely keen to see how the iPad looked decked out all in gold. We might have disliked it though: maybe a bit too “Kardashian”.
Where’s the iPad mini in plastic colours?
With the new iPhone 5c replacing the older iPhone models, it seemed to make sense to use to have the new iPad mini in the same plastic casing. It’d keep the price down and enable the iPad to have the same colour options as the iPhone. But unfortunately not. On the upside the new iPad mini has the 64-bit A7 processor so the extra power softens the blow. And it's what is on the inside that counts.
Where’s the Apple keyboard?
When Apple first released the iPad it created a dedicated keyboard (Apple iPad Keyboard Dock review) to go with it. Sure, it wasn’t perfect (one of the keys was blank for some reason) and it was bulkier and heavier than the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard. But it was a dedicated keyboard that showed Apple knew it was important to be able to attach a keyboard to the iPad in some situations (writing long-form articles, for instance). Even so Apple took it quietly off sale and now suggests using the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard designed for the Mac instead.
Given that Apple has made several updates to the iPad, and released the iPad mini you'd think by now they’d have made an update to the Apple iPad Keyboard. Maybe some kind of Smart Cover Keyboard (similar to the Microsoft Surface) or maybe some kind of smaller, thinner separate keyboard. Even a smaller more portable version of the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard would work just fine. There are some great third-party options out there, mostly made by Logitech, but it’d be fantastic to see what Apple could come up with.
Where’s the larger iPad Pro
The iPad Pro was (along with a new keyboard) perhaps one of the more fanciful rumours, but it seems to make sense. An iPad with a larger display could have lots of uses in professional image editing, video editing and music production facilities. It’d be fun to use and the new powerful A7 processor could sit happily alongside a larger display. It seems like a pipe-dream for now, but we think Apple could easily take the iPad display up a notch.
Bonus missing feature: Apple TV update
While it’s not an iPad feature we did find the lack of an Apple TV update in yesterday's announcement unexpected. The Apple TV is due an update, and there’s no shortage of additional features that could be happily added. More than anything we’d like to see the A7 processor coupled-up with an SDK for software development. Although it does seem to make more sense to have a WWDC announcement for this, we'd rather not wait another year. Even without the SDK a smaller, faster Apple TV with a few new features (especially BBC iPlayer and some other IPTV services from around the world) would have been most welcome.
All of our iPad Air coverage:The Complete Guide to the iPhone 5s & 5c is on-sale now. Click here for buying information.