And with Spring, perhaps, comes the 2019 iPad. After all, it was in Chicago last March that Apple revealed the current iPad, ground-breaking because of its keen price, strong performance and compatibility with the Apple Pencil. You can read my review here.
There have already been some leaks which suggest that this year there will be two iPads and even an iPod announced.
Now, Mark Gurman and Debby Wu at Bloomberg have reported more details.
For a start, they confirm previous rumors that the new iPad will be entry-level, like last March’s release.
It seems the new model will have a marginally bigger screen, too, around 10 inches instead of the 9.7in model currently.
Bloomberg’s story also says that 2019 will see a new smaller-scale tablet, the iPad mini. It will be named the iPad mini 5 unless it’s simply called iPad mini without a suffix number, as is the case with the iPad. This will be the first update to the 7.9in screened tablet since 2015. There is no clue as to whether the screen size will change, though probably it will stay the same, I’d guess.
The current iPad mini costs more than its larger-sized sibling, though it does have more storage on board. Expect the price to drop thanks to more affordable components, which probably rules out Pencil compatibility and definitely counts Face ID out.
Face ID is not expected on the larger iPad, either.
Gurman and Wu looked further forward, too pointing to rumors about iOS 13 which as well as a dark mode similar to the one in the latest version of Mac software suggests a new home screen designed specifically for the iPad, perhaps taking the tablet even nearer to the way the Mac desktop looks – the latest step in a journey to bring computer and tablet closer.
Other iPad-specific upgrades include improvements to file management and something curious, what Bloomberg refers to as “the ability to tab through multiple versions of a single app like pages in a web browser”. I’m not quite sure what that means.
There’s uncertainty as to whether this year’s iPhones will drop the Lightning port in favor of USB-C or not, though Forbes’ Ben Sin is certainly hoping so.
Either way, I’m going to say that I think the iPads released this Spring will stick to Lightning.
One more thing, as they say, is the prospect of a laser-powered 3-D camera. Where the current 3-D camera, called the TrueDepth camera on the iPhone XR, for instance, and the iPad Pro, faces forward and only works over a short distance, next year’s 3-D cameras will use a laser scanner which enables it to work over longer distances. So it could be rear-mounted and have other functions besides being part of Face ID. It would be especially useful in AR apps, for instance.
This camera, it seems, was scheduled to land on this September’s iPhones but was delayed. In which case, it may arrive on the next iPad Pro, probably due next year and perhaps as early as the Spring.
That would fit with previous patterns, such as USB-C being introduced on iPad Pro before it has made it to the iPhone, if such a thing is planned.
There are a lot of ifs and suppositions here but the immediate expectation, that a new iPad and iPad mini are nearly with us, is exciting. And the laser-powered camera, which sounds very cool, could land on an iPad Pro in 2020.