New iPad Rumors: Here's What to Expect From the Next iPad

What's Next for the iPad Pro?

The iPad Pro with smart keyboard and Apple Pencil
Apple, Inc

The latest iPad rumors make it clear that this year's release won't simply see an iterative upgrade to the iPad Pro. Not that there is anything wrong with iterative upgrades. While the word 'iterative' seems to have a bad connotation around some water coolers, PCs have been going through iterative upgrades for the past few decades and no one seems to mind. In fact, it is those increases to graphics and performance we tend to use the most. They just aren't as exciting.

We can expect the next versions of the iPad Pro to be exciting.

The iPad Chooses USB-C Over Lightning

With first the 30-pin connector and then the smaller Lightning connector, Apple's standard on the iPhone and the iPad is to go non-standard when it comes to connecting the device to a computer or power source. But all that may change for the iPad Pro. Apple is rumored to ditch the Lightning connector in favor of the USB-C standard, which would make it easier to connect the iPad to different devices. But as far as the rumor mill goes, this would be an iPad-only change with the Lightning connector remaining on the iPhone.

The iPad Pro Ditches the Home Button for Face ID

Let's just start out with the biggest rumor. According to details found in the latest betas of iOS 12, the iPad Pro should see the Home Button removed in favor of Face ID. Apple's facial identification feature debuted with the iPhone X and has been a big hit. Face ID for the iPad may also include support for landscape mode. Currently, the iPhone X's Face ID feature only works when holding the phone in portrait mode, but this would contradict the idea of propping your iPad Pro on a smart keyboard to get work done, so expect Face ID to work in both portrait mode and landscape mode on the iPad.

The inclusion of Face ID on the iPad will have a trickle-down effect on the design of the iPad.

The 12.9-inch Pro Gets Smaller While the 10.5-inch Pro Gets Bigger

Expect the iPad Pro to get the same makeover as the iPhone X. This means Face ID, no Home Button, and less bezel. However, this may translate a little differently depending on the iPad model.

The 12.9-inch iPad will see these changes in a smaller form factor. The 12.9-inch Pro already has a fantastic screen, and with a reduced size, it will be even more comfortable to use.

The 10.5-inch iPad may go in a different direction. Instead of simply shrinking the iPad around a 10.5-inch screen, this model may keep the same shape and increase the screen to 11 inches. It may not seem like much, but even small increases can make a big difference in screen real estate.

The iPad Pro Gets the iPhone X Camera and Perhaps Even Support for Portrait Mode

There's a really huge side benefit to Face ID coming to the iPad Pro: a better camera! The iPhone has traditionally had better front-facing and back-facing cameras than the iPad, but the iPad Pro started a trend of closing this gap. Part of what makes Face ID possible is improved cameras and specialized code for facial recognition. Of course, only the front-facing camera truly needs to be improved to support Face ID, but don't be surprised if the back-facing camera receives and upgrade as well. This means the iPad Pro may have support for taking those fancy Portrait Mode pictures that can darken the background of the photo.

To Notch or Not To Notch?

One thing we don't really know right now is whether or not the next iPad Pro will also include the infamous notch. Many thought Apple was crazy for putting a notch at the top of the iPhone X's display to hold the front-facing camera, but judging by how many competitors have copied the design, its been quite a success.

But does it make sense on an iPad?

Say Goodbye to the Headphone Jack?

The new design with thinner bezels may have some collateral damage in terms of the headphone jack. Apple did away with the headphone jack with the iPhone 7, but the iPad's larger bezel allowed the jack to stick around a little longer. The new design may end its existence in the iPad world as well.

The Iterative Stuff...

Let's not forget the basics, Expect a new processor with an increase in performance speed and boost for graphics. The iPad Pro already comes with 4 GB of RAM, which is plenty for now, so that should stay the same.

The iPhone X brought a higher price as well as Face ID, but rumors of a higher-priced iPhone existed months before the X made its debut. Nothing at this point seems to indicate an increase in price for the iPad Pro, so expect the 11-inch model to start at $649 and the 12-9inch model to begin at $799.

The new iPad Pro models should be announced in late September or October and should be available for sale soon after the announcement.