The iPad Air's amazing benchmarks

Today in Apple: The iPad's amazing benchmarks. Plus: Pages 5.0 review, and Apple promotes its own apps in App Store searches

iPad Air Benchmarks

Apple's new iPad Air isn't just another pretty tablet. It scores very high on benchmark performance tests, according to Primate Labs.

The iPad Air's A7 processor is running at 1.4 GHz, 100 MHz faster than the iPhone 5s' A7 processor. It's not clear if the iPad Air processor runs at a higher speed thanks to a larger battery (providing more power), a larger chassis (providing better cooling), or some combination of the two. I expect the new iPad mini's A7 processor will run at 1.4 GHz as well.

The iPad Air is over 80% faster than the iPad (4th Generation), close to the 2x increase promised by Apple.

The iPad Air is over 5x faster than the iPad 2, yet is only $100 more expensive. I do not understand why Apple kept the iPad 2 around, especially at a $399 price point. What market are they targeting?

iPad Air Benchmarks

iPad Air Multicore Benchmarks
Image credit: Primate Labs

More at Primate Labs

Wow. What a difference between the iPad Air and the iPad 3 and 4. I have an iPad 3 and the iPad Air blows it off the map! So much for the 64-bit A7 processor being a marketing gimmick.

Pages 5.0 Review

Macworld has a full review of Pages 5.0 for Mac.

Apple’s new Pages is, quite simply, a brand new application. Think of it as version 1 of a new way of creating and editing word processing and page-layout documents. As such it is an excellent application. Is it missing features? You bet it is. But what Pages is missing is what is usually missing from a v1 application: all the features you really want.

To steal the bottom line from my original review of Pages, “If you want to create standard text documents and beautiful, [basic], one-off newsletters, resumes, and brochures, you won’t be disappointed. But if you’re expecting to satisfy all your page-layout needs, I suggest that you wait for the next version to ship.”

Pros

Full document compatibility across platforms

Significantly less cluttered user interface

Single file format for all document types

Completely rewritten, 64-bit app

Cons

Missing many of the features available in the last version of Pages

Significantly limited AppleScript support

No toolbar customization

Page layout features lack the depth found in Pages '09

More at Macworld

It looks like Pages 5.0 is really a total reboot for the application. Thankfully, you can still use Pages 09 even after upgrading to Pages 5.0. Apple leaves the other version available on your Mac.

Apple Promoting Its Apps in the App Store

Apple has begun inserting its own apps into App Store searches, according to Mac Stories.

This morning, I noticed a tweet by Lukas Burgstaller with a screenshot of Apple’s Safari browser showing up in App Store search results for the “browser” search query. I did some tests, and I’ve discovered other search results advertising built-in iOS system apps and features with banners and links to open an app or read more information about it. I’m not sure when Apple started displaying their own built-in apps in the App Store search results, but it’s an interesting (and, I believe, good) idea worth discussing.

If you search for common terms like “web”, “SMS”, or “movies” in the iOS 7 App Store you’ll see special search results for Apple apps like Safari, Messages, and iTunes with a large icon, a description, and a link to learn more or open an app (such as Safari). These results appear on the App Store for iOS 7 devices (I wasn’t able to display them on a Mac using iTunes) and, in my tests, they also worked for queries like “browser”, “messages”, “cloud”, “internet”, “Siri”, and “text”.

More at Mac Stories

This is a rather interesting move by Apple, but I'm not sure it makes much sense in the case of apps like Safari. Is there anybody using an iOS device who doesn't know that Safari is the built-in browser?

I'm sure that third party app developers aren't happy about this though, there's already tons of competition in the App Store. Now they have to worry about Apple as well as their other competitors.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

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