Apple is less than a week away from hosting its second fall 2018 event, headlined “There’s More in the Making,” which will kick-off at 10 a.m. Eastern Time (7 a.m. Pacific) Tuesday, October 30, in New York City.
The company is expected to unveil mysterious new products similar to how it took the wraps off its new iPhone XS/XR trio and Watch Series 4 last month. We know for certain, that at least two all-new iPad Pro models — which have been completely redesigned from the ground up — will be the stars of the show. And, based on a litany of previous rumors and corroborations, we know with near certainty what to expect of the next-generation tablets. Continue reading to learn more about 5 New Features and Changes to Expect for This Year's Redesigned iPad Pro.
5 All-New Design with Reduced Bezels
By far the biggest and most subsequently-supported rumor about Apple’s 2018 iPad Pros is that they’ll feature an all-new design similar to its iPhone X, XS/XS Max and XR handsets in many ways. Specifically, the tablets will be slimmed down, their displays will be stretched to a nearly edge-to-edge form-factor just like iPhone X and XS, and their Home buttons will ultimately be replaced by a bezel-embedded TrueDepth camera system for Face ID and more.
Additionally, the LED-backlit Retina displays are rumored to be larger, with current rumors suggesting that the 10.5-inch iPad Pro will get bumped up to an 11-inch panel, while the 12.9-inch iPad Pro could see a marginal bump to 13.x-inches, as well.
4 Landscape Face ID & Associated Advancements
Apple’s 2018 iPad Pro models are not only rumored to ditch the company's iconic Home buttons in favor of adopting next-generation TrueDepth camera systems, but, bolstered by the possible use of powerful components like the zippy A12X processor, we can expect the upcoming tablets to perform (more than ever before) like the viable “notebook replacements” they’re supposed to be.
Unlike iPhone X and XS with their controversial notch design, however, Apple’s TrueDepth camera system on the 2018 iPad Pro is expected to be fully embedded within the upper bezel — meaning the ‘notch’ will be hidden from view, though still just as capable and effective for Face ID, Memoji and more. It's been found in iOS 12.1's code that the iPad Pro will in-fact feature Face ID that will be functional in portrait or landscape mode.
One of the earliest (and most recently corroborated) rumors about Apple’s 2018 iPad Pros is that in lieu of Lightning to USB, they’d transition to the industry standard USB-C connector for charging and data transfers. Notably, this is the ubiquitous next-generation universal USB standard promising ultra-fast data and power transfer speeds, which Apple’s almost fully employed as the exclusive connectivity option on its latest MacBook and MacBook Pro models.
While a switch to USB-C would afford iPad Pro a number of key benefits bringing it more in line PC notebooks, the change, for Apple, would represent a fundamental shift in the company’s way of doing things.
From its early days, Apple has clung to its proprietary standards for mobile device charging and data transfer — with the 30-pin connector on its original iPod and iPhone, followed by the transition to Lightning in 2012.
Of course, this rumored transition to USB-C (while beneficial for the end-user) is still an unconfirmed and somewhat unlikely development.
2 New Apple Pencil 2?
It’s been three-years now since Apple introduced its original iPad Pro alongside the company’s Apple Pencil. And while the advanced writing, drawing and input tool for select iPad models is functionally advanced even in its current capacity, several rumors and analyst reports have come out suggesting that an update is in the cards for this fall.
Notably, it was renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who predicted in a recent research note that Apple has an updated Apple Pencil in store for the event — though its specific functions, advancements and overall design/feature improvements remain unknown.
It was recently revealed that Apple is working behind closed doors with software-giant, Adobe, and that the two could be working on hardware products designed to interface with the upcoming full-featured Photoshop CC app for iPad Pro — but it’s unknown if an Apple Pencil 2, or anything along those lines, will be among those tools.
1 Thin Is in But Headphone Jack Is out
While a recent rumor suggested Apple’s 2018 iPad Pro models could be as thin as just 5.9 mm, it’s also been rumored that, as a result, the company decided to axe the tablet’s 3.5mm auxiliary headphone jack — similar to how it removed the venerable audio port from its iPhone 7 years ago.
In the 3.5mm headphone port’s absence, a lone USB-C connector is rumored to serve as the bus for high-speed data, power and audio transfers.