iPad Air 2: iOS 8
The iPad Air 2 comes with Apple’s latest version of its mobile operating system – iOS 8.1.
iOS 8 has had a bit of a troubled launch. Some users have experienced Wi-Fi and battery life issues, but the pick of the bunch was a bug that deleted iCloud data when resetting a device.
Thankfully iOS 8.1 appears to have resolved most of these glitches, and the additions have changed it for the better.
Even though iOS 8 looks almost identical to iOS 7, it comes with a bevy of new features. Here’s the whistle stop tour.
The messaging app has had a makeover, and now lets you send voice messages as well as using third-party keyboards such as SwiftKey. Group messaging has also had a nip-and-tuck, letting you leave a conversation or choose not to be disturbed by it.
AirPlay and AirDrop
AirDrop lets you easily share files with other nearby iOS devices that are using iOS 7 and above. AirPlay requires you to have bought into another part of the Apple ecosystem – Apple TV. You can wirelessly stream from your iPad Air 2 to your home entertainment system via Apple TV.
A brand-new feature of iOS 8 is Family Sharing. This lets members of the same household browse and download each other’s iTunes, iBooks and App Store purchases. You can have up to six family members participating, each with their own Apple ID. In a nod towards user profiles, parents can create Apple IDs for children with an Ask to Buy feature. This ensures mums and dads don’t get lumbered with hefty app purchasing bills. You can add more restrictions via the Settings menu to keep them away from inappropriate content.
Like most cloud storage solutions, iCloud Drive enables you to back up all the important information on the iPad Air 2 online. This makes it accessible from any device, including your PC.
Continuity is the most interesting new iOS 8 feature, but to take full advantage of it you’ll need an iPhone and Mac computer with Apple’s latest OS X Yosemite. Not only can you pick up calls from your iPad Air 2 or MacBook when it’s on the same Wi-Fi network, but you can also use Handoff. This is a feature that lets you easily start work on one device and continue on another in an instant.
For an in-depth look at the new version of Apple’s operating system, read our iOS 8 review.
Finally we need to consider the App Store. There are now more than 675,000 apps made for the iPad – no other tablet ecosystem comes close. Whether you enjoy gaming, working on a tablet or have a niche need then the iPad delivers.
How we test tablets
We test every tablet we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the tablet as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.