Apple just added a new M2 CPU, a better camera, and a sharper display to its MacBook Air, which is aimed at back-to-school shoppers. However, an update to Apple’s iPad range is still scheduled for 2022. The entry-level iPad and the iPad Pro remain on hold until the fall, while the midrange iPad Air received an M1 processor back in the spring.
Similar to prior years, Apple is anticipated to hold product announcement events in September and October. While the iPads and an upgrade to iPadOS 16 may wait until October, the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch 8 may be announced in September.
Here is what to anticipate if you’ve been waiting for new iPad models.
The iPad Mini and iPad Air have a new design. The entry-level iPad may join next.
Best Entry-level iPad: New designs, plus USB-C
According to the most recent claims from Mark Gurman and 9to5Mac, the entry-level iPad may receive a big boost. Although the ninth-generation iPad, which is now the cheapest model, still retains a Lightning connector and the original circular Touch ID home button, the appearance may eventually be updated to match the iPad Mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro versions. That may include a device with smoother edges, a curved-corner display, USB-C charging, and possibly a Touch ID button on the side—almost like a less expensive iPad Air.
The A14 processor from the previous-generation iPad Air, which would be an improvement over the A13 in the current iPad but fall short of the M1 found in the Air and Pro versions, might be added to the base iPad. If so, the basic iPad might not be able to utilize the additional Stage Manager multitasking modes in iPadOS 16.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise because the entry-level iPad mimicked the previous iPad Air’s body shape a few years ago. It feels long overdue to switch to USB-C charging.
Additionally, this may make the entry-level iPad compatible with Apple’s range of Magic Keyboard covers as well as the second-generation Pencil.
The entry-level iPad may also provide optional 5G cellular service, an improvement over existing models’ LTE capabilities, according to a report from 9to5Mac.
However, it’s important to keep an eye out for any potential price increases for the entry-level iPad. Inflation-related product price increases have already occurred in 2022; the cheapest iPad may experience a similar situation.
Best iPad Pro: Overdue improvements
The iPad Pro, on the other hand, hasn’t had a redesign since spring 2021, when the bigger 12.9-inch model got 5G, an M1 processor, and a Mini LED display. October is the likely month for a new model.
The most logical next would seem to be for the Pros to receive the M2 processor, which only recently debuted in the MacBook series. Additional factors that may or may not alter include:
Will iPads resolve the camera positioning at last?
My main wish for the iPad is to improve the front camera positioning, in addition, to completely redesigning the OS to make it a better Mac equivalent. Zoom meetings on iPads in landscape mode have their cameras offset to the side (which is how they typically position themselves if you use any kind of keyboard cover).
While Apple’s zoom-in Center Stage camera technology is somewhat helpful, it doesn’t address the issue of eye contact; during my iPad Zooms, I typically appear to be looking out into space. I wish I could move the camera to the longer edge, but who knows whether that will be possible this year. It seems odd because Apple did not change the location of the camera on the most recent iPad Air.
Best improved Magic Keyboard? Unclear
The two-year-old Magic Keyboard from Apple is helpful but has flaws: It costs a lot, doesn’t have a row of function keys, and can’t be folded back into a folio-style configuration for reading or drawing. Apple probably won’t lower the price of the case, but I’d want to see an updated version with function keys and perhaps even additional USB-C/Thunderbolt connections. Currently, there are no reports that this will occur.
A new best Pencil?
In addition to being rather outdated, Apple’s Pencil second generationsecond-generation model is also quite lengthy and difficult to store. Would Apple ever think about creating a Pencil that was smaller or that could more easily fit inside the iPad Pro’s design? It would also be beneficial to add one or two other programmed touch-sensitive functions on the side. Again, no reports have surfaced regarding this.
There have been some reports that the Pro tablets would have wireless charging. It may be MagSafe. Apple’s most current MacBook Pros, iMacs, and iPhones all come with MagSafe. Every incident of MagSafe so far has included a different kind of charger, which is odd. Would Apple create a separate iPad Pro MagSafe from the models for the iPhone and MacBook? Although Smart Connector-compatible accessories are still hard to come by, Apple’s magnetic Smart Connector for iPads already provides this kind of snap-on accessory charging functionality for gadgets like the Magic Keyboard.
Will the display tech be the same?
The only iPad Pro model with a step-up Mini LED display, like the most recent MacBook Pros, was the 12.9-inch 2021 model, which provided deeper blacks and more dramatic contrast. This year, Mini LED could still not be available for the 11-inch model. Instead, an update in a subsequent year may include OLED panels for the 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPads.
Screen best size: Not likely to change
It could yet be a few years before the iPad Pro gets a bigger display. According to a MacRumors rumor, two of Apple’s suppliers are putting together OLED panels for the next iPad models in greater sizes (up to 15 inches). These larger Pro tablets won’t be available, though, until 2023 or 2024.
iPads seem OK to me. However, the more power-hungry nature of the iPad Pro and its keyboard covers may indicate that a helpful battery improvement is in the pipeline. According to my observations, the battery life of the 2022 iPad Air seems to deplete its charge more quickly than the M1 Air does. When it comes to battery life, the MacBook Air now beats the iPad, but maybe in 2022, the iPad Pro will catch up.
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