Stop! Why it’s a bad idea to buy an iPad, for now

wait to buy an iPad
The iPad Air is a good buy. It offers almost the same level of power and features as the Air 2, but it’s temptingly cheaper. Since the Air 2’s announcement, it has been the Apple tablet shrewd purchasers chose. Unsurprisingly, Apple isn’t happy about such bargain hunting, and with the introduction of iOS 9, it has given us the first, real, solid reason not to save a bit of cash, and buy the iPad Air 2 like eager, obedient little consumers.

Apple’s using its split-screen support as a carrot on a stick.

So, should we do Apple’s bidding, and snap up the newest iPad out there? No, and the reason is due to the enduring rumors about a larger iPad Pro. In its efforts to make us all dribble over the iPad Air 2, Apple has inadvertently put us off the Air 2 even more.

We’re talking about the exciting, often requested, and genuinely helpful addition of true mutli-tasking on the iPad, and in particular, the split-screen app feature, which is currently an iPad Air 2 exclusive. Older iPads will get a few of the new multi-tasking features, but the big one won’t be joining them.

While some may see it as manipulative — although there could well be technical reasons that explain why it’s limited to the Air 2 — really, Apple’s using its split-screen support as a carrot on a stick. Well, it’s not going to work. Arguably, it should have been included when the tablet launched last year, and the feature’s arrival in late 2015 isn’t enough to save the Air 2 from becoming the iPad-no-one-wanted.

Multi-tasking is going to reinvigorate the iPad, just not the iPad Air 2

iOS 9’s multitasking release is a bit of a strategic error on Apple’s part. It really needed to be in iOS 8, ready for the Air 2’s release. Then, there would have been a compelling argument against saving money and getting the first Air. Instead, the split-screen feature is going to turn up just as we’re all talking about the Air 3 and the currently unofficial — but clearly ideal for iOS 9 — iPad Pro. The Air 2 came out in October last year, which means we’re less than five months away from a replacement.

Multi-tasking is a very big deal. It’ll allow the iPad to evolve and take on more comprehensive business-orientated tablets like the Microsoft Surface 3 and the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2, while still having all the gaming and leisure potential offered by the current models. The extensive collection of tablet-optimized apps inside the iTunes App Store gives added incentive.

iOS 9 split screen

If you put all these apps in split-screen view on the 12-inch-plus iPad Pro,  it’ll become a power user’s dream machine. The extra inches will inevitably allow us to make best use of the split-screen feature, the new multitouch trackpad, and the promised improvements to external keyboard compatibility.

If the true split-screen multitasking feature is the reason you’ll want an iPad, it’s almost certain to be even more effective on a screen that’s larger than 9.7 inches. Also, anyone who likes to draw on their iPad could certainly use the extra space. Imagine having your drawing reference right next to your preferred drawing app in split-screen view on a 12-inch-plus screen.

Patience is a virtue, and the iPad Pro could be your reward

Time to return to Earth with a bump. Right now, as of this moment, you can’t buy an iPad with a larger than 9.7-inch screen. However, do not let this be the reason you run out and grab an iPad Air 2 tomorrow — especially if your primary reason for doing so is iOS 9 and the split-screen feature.

Don’t forget, the software isn’t out yet. Yes, you may be able to get access to a beta version in July, but it’s not certain all the features will be available, or be very stable. The final, full release of iOS 9 will come in September or October this year. By that time, a new iPad Air, or the iPad Pro itself will either be official, or about to be announced.

Wait to see what October brings. You really can’t lose.

If you haven’t picked an iPad Air 2 up already, then chances are you can bear to wait a little longer. Wait to see what October brings. You really can’t lose. If the iPad Air 3 is another middle-of-the-road update and the iPad Pro turns out to be nothing more than a glint in an Apple fanboy’s eye — the iPad Air 2 will still be available, and probably $100 cheaper than it is now. Then you can go buy one.

However, given the sheer number of rumors around the iPad Pro, and the hints laid out in iOS 9, it seems almost certain that an iPad with a slightly bigger screen will be revealed this fall, and your patience will be rewarded.

So, well done Apple. On the surface, iOS 9 and all its bountiful multi-tasking joy look like a good reason to pick up the iPad Air 2. Except it’s not — It’s actually another reason not to buy one, and a very good one, too.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.

Wearables

Lack of regulation means wearables aren’t held accountable for health claims

As fitness trackers become more like health monitors, some physicians are concerned they can lead to over-diagnosis of non-existent problems. It’s already happening with wearable baby monitors.
Mobile

How to choose an iPad in 2019: A practical guide to Apple’s tablets

Selecting an iPad from Apple's lineup can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Our comprehensive guide should put the numbers and specs in practical, easy-to-understand terms. Find your ideal iPad with the help of our guide.
Deals

Need a new tablet? The best iPad deals for January 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.
Mobile

Here’s how to take a screenshot on an iPad, step by step

The ability to capture screenshots may not be the iPad's most glamorous feature, but it's one of its most useful. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to take a screenshot on an iPad, whether it's an iPad Pro from 2018 or an older iPad model.
Deals

Save over $350 on the Refurbished iPad 4 for a limited time

Looking to buy an iPad without having to pay that iPad price? For a limited time, you can pick up a refurbished iPad 4 for as low as $137. That's $363 less than you would pay for something brand new.
Mobile

Here’s how to download podcasts and listen to them on Android or iOS

Podcasts have become a cultural staple. Here's how to download podcasts and listen to them on your Android or iOS device, and which apps to use if you're looking to get the most out of the format.
Mobile

Razer’s Wireless Charger will turn your desk into gamer heaven

The Razer Wireless Charger adds colorful flair to your desk or bedside table. It works with any phone that supports Qi wireless charging -- with some quirks -- but is it worth the high price tag? We take a look.
Business

Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Mobile

Windows 10 Mobile is dead: Switch to iOS or Android, Microsoft says

A Microsoft support page detailed the company's plans to end support for Windows 10 Mobile in less than a year. Users with devices powered by the platform are suggested to switch to iOS or Android devices.
Mobile

How to use iOS 12’s Passwords and Accounts tool to autofill passwords

Keeping track of all your passwords and accounts can be a real chore. If you use an iPhone with iOS 12, then you don't have to. Here's how to use iOS 12's own password manager to autofill passwords.
Computing

What is fixed wireless 5G? Here’s everything you need to know

Here's fixed wireless 5G explained! Learn what you need to know about this effective new wireless technology, when it's available, how much it costs, and more. If you're thinking about 5G, this guide can help!
Gaming

Xbox app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Wearables

The best Apple Watch bands and straps to stylize your timepiece

If you have an Apple Watch, you know how easy it is to take off the strap it came with, so why not buy yourself another one? Here, we've gathered the best Apple Watch bands we've seen so far. There's something for everyone.