We’ve been hearing rumors constantly about the iPad Air 2, even though we’ll see the device officially unveiled tomorrow, but the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 have both been as confirmed as they can get without being officially announced, thanks to Apple’s iPad User Guide, which apparently released a bit earlier than expected.
Apple must have mistakingly updated its iPad User Guide for iOS 8, as it now includes a section that shows off the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3, complete with references to Touch ID.
Another new feature that the guide confirms is Burst Mode for the iPad Air 2 camera, which is a feature that was first introduced in the iPhone 5s where users could take photos at 10 frames per second. It appears that Burst Mode will now be making its way to the iPad for the first time with the iPad Air 2.
Furthermore, the guide says that it’s “for iOS 8.1,” which means that we’ll most likely see iOS 8.1 launch tomorrow as well, which is rumored to come equipped with Apple Pay (officially marking the launch of Apple’s payment platform), as well as a handful of bug fixes and performance improvements.
Right now it’s rumored that while Apple will announce and unveil the iPad Air 2 tomorrow, the company may not actually launch the new tablet until next week on October 24. We’re slightly disappointed at this possibility since it’s yet another week that we’ll have to wait, but it’s consistent with Apple’s previous launch timelines for the iPad and iPhone, releasing them on Fridays at the start of the weekend.
It’s also said that the iPad Air 2 will see limited supply on launch day. There’s no word on the possibility of pre-orders, but we wouldn’t be surprised either way. The iPhone 6 saw pre-orders this year, but Apple skipped pre-orders with the iPad mini with Retina display last year, so it’s a toss-up at this point. However, with the possibility of there being low stock, we wouldn’t be surprised at all for Apple to skip pre-orders with the new tablet.
While we’re only a day away from Apple’s press event, the rumor hill has kept busy. We’ve already seen several leaked photos claiming to be images of the iPad Air 2, giving us a good idea on what to expect tomorrow. However, not a whole lot is known about the iPad Air 2 or the iPad mini 3 overall.
The new iPad will supposedly only be 7mm thick, making it just as thin as the iPhone 6, which is quite incredible for a tablet. It also isn’t expected to get a huge redesign, as the iPad Air was the model to see a major refresh. Apple typically doesn’t overhaul its products’ designs until a couple of generations have passed, so we can expect the iPad Air 2 to keep the same overall look as the iPad Air, except for some small, but impactful changes.
The new iPad could come with recessed volume and power buttons, as well as a redesigned speaker grille. The volume buttons look to keep the same design as the iPad Air, but are simply recessed slightly into the body of the tablet. As for the speaker grille, the leaked photos that we’ve seen show the iPad sporting a single horizontal line of larger holes, which is a drastic difference than the smaller holes that were arranged in two rows on the iPad Air.
Furthermore, it’s already been rumored a couple times this year that the iPad would get Touch ID fingerprint sensor capabilities. We even saw hints of Touch ID capabilities in the code of iOS 7.1 back in April, and a few days later we heard that one of Apple’s part suppliers were cranking out Touch ID fingerprint sensors in large quantities.
If you’re interested in what Apple could announce tomorrow, you can watch the live stream by simply navigating to Apple’s livestream webpage at 1pm ET to watch the event live as it happens. Besides new iPads, Apple could also launch iOS 8.1, as well as release new iMacs and OS X Yosemite.