We’re not expecting too many changes to the iPad Air, but there are a few updates, with everything we know outlined in this guide.
The iPad Air is expected to look identical to the current model, with no outward-facing design changes planned. It’s possible that Apple will introduce new color options to set the updated models apart from the existing iPad Air, which comes in silver, space gray, rose gold, green, and sky blue.
Like the iPad Pro, the iPad Air features an all-display design, but it does not include Face ID. Apple instead uses a Touch ID Power button for authentication purposes. The tablet will continue to feature Touch ID, and it will have a 10.9-inch display and a USB-C port.
While there are no physical changes expected, the iPad Air will adopt features that were first introduced in the iPad mini 6, its sister tablet.
Like the latest iPad mini, the updated iPad Air will adopt a 5G chip that will allow it to connect to 5G networks. The chip in the iPad mini is limited to sub-6GHz 5G networks rather than the fastest mmWave 5G networks, so it’s possible we could see this same limitation in the iPad Air, but not guaranteed.
Sub-6GHz 5G is the more widely available version of 5G that can be found in urban, suburban, and rural areas across the United States and other countries, while mmWave 5G is more limited in availability and in range.
AT&T and Verizon have recently expanded their 5G networks with C-band spectrum that improves the availability of mmWave networks in the U.S., so it’s possible Apple will take this into account when updating the iPad Air.
We’re expecting the iPad Air to get the same 6-core A15 chip that’s in the iPad mini 6 and the iPhone 13 lineup. Apple downclocked the A15 chip in the iPad mini, so it runs at 2.9GHz instead of 3.2GHz as it does in the iPhone, but it’s not clear if the same clock speed will be used for the iPad Air.
With the downclocked A15, the iPad mini is around two to eight percent slower than the iPhone 13 when it comes to CPU performance, but either way, it will be an improvement over the A14 chip in the current model.
Center Stage and FaceTime Camera
Rumors suggest the iPad Air will adopt an updated 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera that will work with Center Stage, a feature first introduced in the iPad Pro and the iPad mini 6.
Center Stage is a FaceTime feature designed to keep you in focus and perfectly framed when you’re on a FaceTime video call. The wide-angle front-facing camera shows more of the room that you’re in, while the processor inside the iPad works to keep you front and center even as you move around.
If more than one person is participating in the call, the camera will zoom out to attempt to keep everyone in view and make sure they’re part of the conversation. Though designed with FaceTime in mind, Center Stage also works with other third-party video apps like Zoom.
As for the rear camera, it is expected to continue to feature a single-lens setup, though Apple could add a quad-LED True Tone flash, which would be a new addition as the current iPad Air does not include a flash option.
We are not expecting any other notable changes in the iPad Air. Because the body design is staying the same, it’s unlikely that we’ll see any significant updates to the battery life.
USB-C support will continue to be included, and it will be compatible with Apple accessories that include the Magic Keyboard and the Apple Pencil 2.
iPad Air pricing is not expected to change, and it will likely be priced the same as the current iPad Air. Existing models start at $599 for 64GB of storage, with 256GB available for $749. We haven’t heard rumors about storage changes, and the iPad mini 6 also starts at 64GB storage.
Rumors suggest the refreshed iPad Air is going to be released alongside an updated version of the iPhone SE at an event that’s set to be held in March. Right now, Apple is targeting Tuesday, March 8 for the event.
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This article, “Everything We Know About the 2022 iPad Air Coming in March” first appeared on MacRumors.com
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