New iPad Air with M1 is designed for creators and students, says Apple CEO

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The new 2022 iPad Air was equipped with an M1 chip to meet the needs of both creative and productive midrange tablet users, an Apple executive said.

Apple’s Katie McDonald, the company’s iPad Product Marketing Manager, recently spoke with YouTuber Brian Tong and a few content creators about the new iPad Air — including how the company was starting to think about what features the next generation should have.

For example, when designing a new iPad Air with an iPad AirM1 chipset, McDonald said Apple really looked into how users and customers were already using the previous-generation model of the iPad Air — and thought about how the M1 would bring a “huge leap.” in performance to the midrange device.

“So it was really thinking about how people were using the iPad Air and we knew the M1 would be right for those customers very quickly,” McDonald said. “We planned to bring it and we’re really excited to finally introduce it to the world.”

As for the target market for the new iPad Air, the Apple executive said the tablet represents a step above the entry-level iPad. In other words, the device is aimed at content creators, students, gamers and other users whose performance expectations are “really on the highest level”.

“Maybe it’s not their career, maybe they’re not building a commercial,” McDonald said. “But there are people where it’s their hobby, it’s their passion.”

That’s why McDonald said Apple planned to bring an enhanced feature set to the iPad Air to enable those creative and productive workflows.

At one point during the video, Tong asked McDonald where the iPad Pro is going. While McDonald didn’t hint at future models, she said the iPad Pro is still the Apple tablet of choice for serious professionals.

“iPad Pro still features the most advanced technologies we offer on iPad,” said McDonald. “That includes, of course, that Liquid Retina with ProMotion … it’s going to have Thunderbolt connectivity, five studio-quality microphones, four-speaker audio, that professional camera system on the back.”

The full interview, which lasts approximately 45 minutes, is worth watching for anyone interested in creative or productive workflows on the iPad Air. It can be viewed here.

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