With all the talk about Apple News Plus, Apple Card, Apple Arcade and Apple TV Plus, this was an unusual Apple event, as it skipped any new hardware in favor of services and software. But before you lament the lack of hardware, know that Apple front-loaded all its new hardware into a series of stealth announcements the week before. If you weren’t specifically paying attention for them, it was easy to miss these tablet, desktop and headphone updates. They were revealed only by press releases and the brief outages of the online Apple Store while product pages were revamped. Here’s what’s new (as in, less than one week old) from Apple’s hardware team: iPad Air and iPad Mini Two nearly forgotten iPad tablet lines, eclipsed by the less-expensive iPad and more-expensive iPad Pro, have been resurrected. The new iPad Air has a 10.5-inch Retina display and an A12 Bionic processor (as used in the iPhone XS). The iPad Mini gets its first upgrade since 2015, also to an A12 processor, but keeps the same screen size and resolution. The key point of both the $399 Mini and $499 Air is that they’re more expensive than the plain old 9.7-inch iPad, which is $329 (and is often available for less). Of the new iPad Mini, Scott Stein says: “The new iPad Mini is an incremental product update, a spec bump to a tablet that otherwise looks the same as the model from 2015. Does that spark joy? After using it for… [Read full story]
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