Apple recently held a media event at its headquarters in Cupertino, California, where it unveiled its latest iPad models: the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3. While the most obvious change made to the new iPad models was the implementation of the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, the iPad Air 2 was also upgraded with a beefed-up version of the A8 chip called the A8X and its chassis was made 18 percent thinner at 6.1 millimeters. The iPad Air 2’s Retina display was also outfitted with an anti-reflective coating and improved Wi-Fi and LTE wireless connections.
However, amid all the iPad hype, Apple also made several other important announcements. Here are four cool announcements about Apple’s other products and services that you may have missed.
One of the biggest announcements that Apple made at its iPad-focused event was related to its new mobile payments service. Apple revealed that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users would be able to start making purchases with Apple Pay as of October 20, when the iOS 8.1 update was released. As explained by Apple on its website, the system allows the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, and the upcoming Apple Watch to be used as a secure, contactless payment method via Near Field Communications (NFC) technology.
After entering their card information into the Passbook app, users can make purchases at participating merchants by simply holding their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus near an NFC reader with their finger on the Touch ID sensor. It should be noted that, although the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 come equipped with Touch ID, the tablets do not include an NFC chip and so cannot be used for making payments at brick-and-mortar stores. However, users can authorize in-app Apple Pay purchases with the new iPad models’ Touch ID sensors.