Apple unveils iPad Air, iPad Mini with Retina display, iLife and iWork updates

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At today’s Apple event in California, Apple unveiled its new line of iPad tablets, as well as updates to its productivity software on Mac and iPad.

Apple unveiled the iPad Air, which features a 9.7 inch Retina display in a body that is 20 percent thinner and 28 percent lighter than the fourth generation iPad. The iPad Air includes the 64-bit A7 chip, bringing the same power to the iPad Air as seen in the recently released iPhone 5S.

The iPad Air will be released on November 1. The Wi-Fi only model will be priced at $499 for 16GB, $599 for 32GB, $699 for 64GB and $799 for 128GB. The Wi-Fi and cellular iPad Airs are priced at $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model, $829 for the 64GB model and $929 for the 128GB model.

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Image via Apple
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In addition, Apple also revealed the new iPad Mini with Retina display. The 7.9 inch display plays videos and movies at full 1080p HD-resolution. The new iPad Mini with Retina display will be available starting in late November. The Wi-Fi models will be available for $399 for 16GB, $499 for 32GB, $599 for 64GB, and $699 for 128GB. The Wi-Fi and cellular models will be priced at $529 for 16GB, $629 for 32GB, $729 for 64GB and $829 for 128GB.

Both new iPads will be available in silver or space gray, and they both offer the newly updated suite of iLife and iWork apps for free.

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Image via Apple
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The iLife suite includes iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand, while iWork includes Pages, Numbers and Keynote. They have all been redesigned to match the look and feel of iOS 7.

GarageBand now offers a new sound library and virtual drummer, giving musicians the ability to add drum tracks to their existing projects based on the sound of existing pieces of music. iCloud keeps track of projects across devices, allowing users to edit an existing project on iPad and then pick up where they left off for Mac later on (and vice versa).

The iPhoto update on iPad brings photo book functionality to tablets, and iPhoto on Mac and iOS is now 64-bit for faster browsing and editing.

Elsewhere, the iWork applications feature a new unified file format for document fidelity across Mac, iOS and iCloud. The iWork for iCloud beta now includes support for real-time collaboration among multiple users, even if someone is on a PC.

The updates to these programs are free for existing users on iOS, while GarageBand does offer additional instruments and sounds via a one-time in-app purchase of $4.99 on each platform. More information about these new iPads and app updates can be found on Apple’s website.