Apple has a range of iOS devices, so it can be difficult to decide which are right for you. Here, we bring you expert buying advice and round up our iOS reviews in one place, to help you decide whether you need an iPad, iPad mini, iPhone or iPod touch.
Apple’s iPad mini is a 7.9in tablet that’s just 7.2mm thick, making it 23 per cent thinner than the full-size iPad. It weighs half as much as Apple’s third-generation tablet, and has the same 1,024 x 768 resolution as the iPad 2, so existing iPad-optimised apps will work on this new model. The device is available in white with silver, or black with slate, much like the iPhone 5.
See: iPad mini vs Nexus 7
The iPad mini uses Apple’s dual-core A5 chip, it has a FaceTime HD front-facing camera and a 5-megapixel iSight camera on the back. It also has LTE 4G capabilities.
Of course, it uses the new Lightning connector. Apple says that, like other iPads in its line-up, it still offers 10 hours of battery life; the company boasts that the iPad mini uses the largest and thinnest battery its ever made.
Apple offers a range of new Smart Covers with its tiny tablet too, which are available in a range of colours.
Price: Wi-Fi £269 to £429, Wi-Fi + 4G £369 to £529
Pros: Incredibly thin and light; Siri; 1080p video recording; Wi-Fi and 4G LTE
Cons: No Retina display; price higher than rivals; A5 processor isn’t cutting-edge
Macworld review: iPad mini
iPad with Retina Display
Despite unveiling the third-generation iPad just seven months previously, Apple launched its fourth-generation tablet – known as the iPad with Retina Display. The new device uses the company’s own A6X chip, a new processor that further improves upon the speed performance of the A6. Apple claims that it’s twice as fast as the A5X, with double the graphics performance. It gets the same 10 hours battery life as the third-generation iPad.
New to the fourth-generation iPad is a FaceTime HD front-facing camera and a Lightning port that replaces the 30-pin connector of old. And, according to Apple, the Wi-Fi is twice as fast as in the previous generation. The new tablet replaces the iPad 3 completely, and sits in the new iPad line-up, alongside the iPad 2 and mini. It follows the same pricing as the third iPad did, starting at £399.
Price: Wi-Fi £399 to £639, Wi-Fi + 4G £499 to £739
Pros: Fast processor and graphics enhancements; 4G works in UK; Retina display
Cons: Lightning adaptor; quite heavy; gets expensive when you add memory
Macworld review: iPad with Retina display
The iPhone 5 is a lot lighter and thinner than its predecessor; the 4S. It also has a taller, 4in screen that allows an additional row of icons to be displayed on the home screen, and the Retina display ensures that photos and video look fantastic. The handset also has an improved camera and an HD FaceTime camera.
Apple’s latest handset has 4G LTE capabilities, which are available in some parts of the UK, with wider coverage expected later this year. The new iPhone is said to have better Wi-Fi, too.
The device is powered by a new A6 processor, which Apple claims is two times faster than the A5 used in the 4S. The battery life has also been given a boost.
One of the more controversial additions is the ‘Lightning’ connector, which is smaller than its predecessor, so you’ll need to buy an adaptor for your older accessories.
Price: 16GB £529, 32GB £599.99, 64GB £699
Pros: New taller 4in screen; thinner; lighter; better battery life
Cons: Lightning connector means you’ll need an adaptor for old accessories
Macworld review: iPhone 5
The iPod touch has had a bright update, with new colours added to appeal to the teenage market that the device dominates. It hasn’t just had a makeover, though; it gains the same 4in Retina display as the iPhone 5, granting our biggest wish for the iPod touch.
Like the iPhone 5, the device has grown a little taller, but it’s now just 6.1mm thick and weighs 88g, so you’ll hardly notice it’s in your pocket. The touch also has an A5 chip, one generation up from last year’s A4-equipped model, which means that this iPod can run Siri – Apple’s voice-recognition software.
The touch also has a 5-megapixel iSight camera, which is capable of recording 1080p video, and a ‘Loop’ wrist strap has been added.
In May, Apple began shipping a 16GB budget version of the iPod touch, which does away with the iSight camera, Loop and colour options.
Price: 16GB £199, 32GB £249, 64GB £329
Pros: Colour choices; compact camera alternative; high tech features; A5 chip
Cons: An unlocked iPhone 4 might be an option worth considering
Macworld review: iPod touch
Perhaps one of Apple's cheaper iPods will be more suitable for your needs. Apple has three other iPod models: the iPod nano, iPod classic and iPod shuffle.
In the case of the iPod nano, bigger is definitely better, but this is by no means a big nano. Compared to its predecessors, this really is a feat of engineering. It’s the thinnest iPod model yet, a massive 50 per cent leaner than the previous generation at 5.4mm, and while it’s longer than its square predecessor, it’s shorter than all bar the squat third-generation version, and is narrower than the previous model, too. It really is a tiny device that packs a lot of functionality into the palm of your hand. The nano also has a built-in pedometer for fitness fans, though the lack of a clip could prove a problem to joggers.
The multi-touch display is 2.5in thin, and is sufficient for the slimmed down operating system that the iPod nano runs.
We can see the new colours appealing to the younger market, though it’s a bit pricey at £129.
Pros: Plays video in widescreen; small; colours will appeal to some
Cons: No clip; last year’s iPod touch is available for £20 more
Macworld review: iPod nano
Lacking the connectivity and wide screen of the iPod touch and the nano’s array of tricks, the classic doesn’t feel new or innovative. It’s brilliant if you want to take a large collection of your media with you. It’s got 160GB of space, which represents excellent value for money. The interface is slicker and more helpful, too.
Pros: Excellent battery life; improved UI
Cons: Sluggish interface; unresponsive controls
Macworld review: iPod classic
At £40 for 2GB of storage, the fourth- generation shuffle is not only the perfect entry-level iPod, it’s also a solid second device for iPhone users who want to keep it simple while exercising.
Pros: Smart looks; much-improved controls i5
Cons: No way to lock controls
Macworld review: iPod shuffle