What to expect from the iPad Air 2 [Video]

iPad 2 Rumor Roundup Alt
The iPad Air 2 has all but been confirmed for an October 16th unveiling, according to Recode’s John Paczkowski, a source with an impeccable track record. You might as well schedule some time off for 10AM PST on October 16th, because his word is basically bond.

With that in mind, I thought I’d take a minute to do a brief video roundup on what to expect from the iPad Air 2. Apple’s 6th generation tablet is expected to endure some significant changes in this year’s scheduled refresh. Check inside as we break it all down on video.

Event details

  • When: Thursday, October 16th @ 10:00 AM PST
  • Where: Apple’s Town Hall Auditorium in Cupertino, CA
  • What: The iPad Air 2 will be the star of the show, but we may see Retina iMacs as well.
  • What may not be there: The refreshed iPad mini and the oft-rumored iPad Pro are both rumored to be coming in early 2015.

Okay, so now lets break down some of the new hardware and software features that we can expect from the iPad Air 2.

Hardware features

  • New speaker grille design – The speaker grille now features one row of large holes instead of two rows of tiny holes. It looks a lot like the speaker grille on the iPhone 6. This may result in better [read: louder] sound, if the sound on the iPhone 6 is anything to go by.
  • Relocated microphone – One of the device’s microphones appears to have moved to the rear of the device near the camera.
  • New Anti-reflective coating – A better anti-reflective coating would make the iPad Air 2 more comfortable to read in direct sunlight and in direct interior lighting.
  • Touch ID – Works to secure the Lock screen, make App Store purchases, and presumably enables Apple Pay.
  • Recessed volume buttons – The cutout for the volume buttons is more recessed than before, which would result in the buttons resting flush with the iPad’s outer shell. Oddly enough, the mute switch is nowhere to be found in leaks, but it could just be that the prototype parts aren’t showing the final mute switch design.
  • 2GB of RAM – Rumored to have double the RAM of the previous generation iPad, a 2GB iPad would be the most RAM for any iOS device ever.
  • A8/M8 – The A8 processor and M8 motion coprocessor would match the iPhone 6 in performance, much like the iPad Air did with the iPhone 5s.
  • Gold colorway – A new gold option will be added to the already existing space gray and silver colors, bringing unity to the iPhone and iPad lineup.

Software features

  • Apple Pay – Online, in-app only, no NFC chip for in-store purchases. This was located in the iOS 8.1 beta.
  • Split Screen Mode – Run two apps side-by-side at the same time.

Obviously none of these details are written in stone. They are subject to change until we see Tim Cook walk across the stage and show us himself. With that said, given the leaks, I think there is a very good chance that the iPad 2 Air shapes up to look almost identical to the picture we’ve painted above.

How do you think the iPad Air 2 is shaping up? Do you believe it’s a must-buy product, or will you be holding off this time around? Let us know what you plan on doing in the comment section below.