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What Apple’s next iPad could bring


The iPad, iPad Air and iPad Pro lineup last year. Smaller frames and USB-C might be on tap next.

Sarah Tew / CNET

This story is part of Apple event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

The puzzle of the perfect computer and tablet for you Distance learning or To work from home Setup began almost six months ago. You probably already have a system that works for you, however Apple’s upcoming event on September 15th could still deliver a new iPad (or iPads) to the mix. If you are Shopping for an iPad, stop it: new ones may be worth waiting for.

The newest iPad before that was the expensive one iPad Pro update in Marchwho added lidar sensors with depth measurement on the back and an optional new keyboard and trackpad case. Will Apple make an improved entry-level iPad? Will iPads be converted to USB-C? Will better keyboard cases come with them? Maybe.

This is what we expect (and I want to). And I wish these had arrived a month ago.

A new iPad Air could be very similar to the iPad Pro

The most likely iPad seems to be a redesigned Air that improves the look of the professional. Mark Gurman’s latest Bloomberg report points to a new iPad Air arriving alongside new Apple Watches. Expect a bigger display with fewer bezels and more screen real estate. Also a processor upgrade (probably an A13 or maybe something else). The newer Air could switch to USB-C instead of Lightning for charging, which would be a big help with buying standard chargers and other accessories. However, the Air is expected to continue to have a Touch ID instead of a Face ID, which could be in a side button – and likely not via the Pro’s depth-sensing lidar sensors.

Could there be an entry-level iPad with a special bump?

The $ 300-ish simple 10.2 inch iPad Currently it has an A10 processor that is pretty old. The 10.2 model could just get a new processor (A12 or better) and be a better device right away. Hopefully, this will happen for app compatibility and performance reasons.

Sanho HyperDrive USB-C Hub for iPad Pro

The Sanho HyperDrive USB-C Hub on an iPad Pro. Imagine doing this for all of your iPads.

Stephen Shankland / CNET

USB-C across the board would be nice

Lightning is a strange format for iPads now, especially all MacBooks that use USB-C and Thunderbolt 3. The entire line was supposed to be rearranged like the iPad Pro, although iPhones would (for the time being) still stay in the Lightning camp.


iPad Air (2019) sits in the Logitech Combo Touch. Will Apple make its own case for the new Air?

Scott Stein / CNET

A new keyboard case would also help

Apple is expensive Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro is pretty awesome, with a keyboard and trackpad that feel like a laptop. Perhaps Apple could create some cheaper options for the new Air, especially since then iPadOS takes full advantage of trackpads.

AR and iPad: possible development?

Apple’s augmented reality endeavors have always been driven by apps and services, and education has been an AR goal on the iPad for years. The September 15 event invitation includes a hidden AR Easter egg, suggesting that some AR news may be coming. An updated processor on an iPad Air could help with this Apple’s latest ARKit featuresand a bigger screen could leverage some of the bigger screen ideas that now exist on the iPad Pro. A new Air is unlikely to have the pro’s failed depth-sensing lidar sensor, but Apple could make this a moment to introduce more AR software to a larger audience.


iPad and Zoom are a mixed bag due to the placement of the camera.

Scott Stein / CNET

Unlikely: A more centered camera for video chat

Zoom and video chat annoying on iPads. Although they have great cameras, the front-facing cameras only focus on shooting in portrait mode. Tilt it into the countryside (where all everyday chores are usually done) and make faces look like they’re staring into the distance. I would love it if iPads moved its cameras iOS 14 does some eye fixes in FaceTime. The chances of this are slim.

We’ll know soon enough. Apple’s event is scheduled for September 15 and will be streamed at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET). For now, stick with your iPad, especially if you’ve been thinking of a midrange Air.

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