At TouchBistro, we strongly suggest always purchasing the latest iPad models for the best experience and longevity of support. However, in instances where iPads have already been purchased and are available for use in your business, you will need to be aware of their technical capabilities, and know what to expect before you put them into service in your venue.
Since the introduction of the iPad in 2010, Apple has released many sizes, iterations, and versions of this device. Generally speaking, differentiating one iPad model from another can be more complicated than simply looking at them.
When Apple releases a new version of the iPad, it may or may not resemble the version that preceded it. A newer iPad with robust specifications (perfect for your restaurant) may look more-or-less identical to another (perhaps older) iPad with very poor specifications.
It’s important that you obtain an iPad or iPads that are able to meet the minimum standards required to operate TouchBistro in a business environment such as yours. Therefore, if you are sourcing devices about which you are unsure about the specifications, this guide should help provide some clarification.
For more information on iPad specifications and considerations, please see our Hardware Requirements page.
Identifying your iPad Model
1. On your iPad, tap Settings.
2. Tap General.
3. Tap About.
4. Here, you’ll be able to view some key information regarding your iPad model, including the official Model Name and Model Number as defined by Apple at the time of manufacture. Apple has two model number schemes. One begins with the letter M. For example, MR7FCL/A. This is the default display. There is another one that begins with the letter A. In general, the Model Number that begins with A is more useful.
5. To see the A version of your model, tap the Model Number and it will convert to the A version.
Obtaining More Information
Once you obtain the A version of the model number (see step 5), you can refer to our list of recommended and supported iPads at this link.
Search for the A version of the model number. If it is on the list check, see if it is recommended for your intended purpose (single license/multi/use as a main device). Recommended iPads have a Y in the appropriate column. If it is not recommended (there is a N in the appropriate column) then this iPad will still work with TouchBistro but we cannot guarantee performance or continued support by TouchBistro.
There are many unofficial online sources wherein specific information may be obtained about your specific iPad model, or models. For example, Wikipedia has a robust iPad article outlining the complete history of the iPad, including a chart indicating the hardware capabilities of each device. Again search for the A version of the model number.
Please visit Apple.com for official information about your specific iPad, as well as to obtain support when your device breaks, or otherwise malfunctions.
What Might I Want to Know About My iPads?
iPads are tablet computers built around what is called a system-on-a-chip. This is an integrated circuit that incorporates all integral components of a computer (including CPU, memory, input/output ports) into a single microchip.
Apple manufactures iPads using what are known as ARM-based processors, which they design. These processors are collectively referred to as the A-series. This name was given to them, because of their nomenclature. The first iPad came with a processor known as the A4 chip, and since then subsequent models contained the A5, A5X, A6, A6X, and so on, with each new iteration providing faster processing, and better features.
To charge your iPad, you need to connect it to a charger, a computer, or another device with a USB connection.
Thus far, iPads have shipped with three different types of connectors:
Lightning Port – The most ubiquitous connector seen on iPads, and familiar to iPhone users as well. You may find that replacing worn-out Lightning cables is significantly easier than obtaining USB-C cables, depending on where you are located.
USB-C – This industry-standard connector is used on some iPad Pro models, and provides additional connectivity with certain peripherals. However, if you are planning on using certain types of hardware, for example a Lightning-based printer, you will require a USB-C to Lightning adapter in order to do so. Compatibility with other Lightning-based devices going forward may be a consideration, depending on the nature of your business.
30-Pin Dock connector – The first three generations of iPads used this type of connector, which has been discontinued since 2014. TouchBistro does not support any iPads of that use this connector.
Many of the specifications you’ll learn about your iPads may be completely irrelevant to your business, whereas others might be very important.
For example, an iPad with 128 GB of storage will not provide much advantage over a similarly-powered iPad with 32 GB of storage when used with TouchBistro POS. iPads with cellular data capabilities do not offer any advantage over iPads without this feature, except in very rare instances.
If you are considering sourcing iPads from a third-party, we urge you not to spend money on features that will not be of any relevance to your POS system or your business. A 12-megapixel camera on each iPad in your establishment may not be the best way to spend your money, so please let us know if you have any questions about sourcing the appropriate hardware for your venue.