iPad Pro 2 Rumours
Posted by Andrea Baker on
Barely a week goes by without rumblings about what Apple will deliver next, and nowhere is that speculation more rife than regarding their world leading iPad range. Renowned for their secrecy and innovation, Apple sets the bar when it comes to the future of tablet technology. Now, as the iPad Pro rounds out its first full year on the market, what's next for this not-so-little number and when will it hit the shelves?
The state of play
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro was announced in September 2015, bringing with it a raft of upgrades from the Air 2. These included a larger screen size than any iPad before it, stylus support, greater storage of up to 256GB and the A9X processing chip.
In March 2016, Apple launched a smaller version of the Pro form of the 9.7-inch, with a number of further improvements.
When it comes to tipping what Apple has up its sleeve, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is the pre-eminent fortune teller. He's predicted three new iPads will hit the market next year in the form of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2, a mid-sized iPad Pro in 10.5 inches and the smaller iPad Pro at 9.7 inches.
And so far his speculation is holding true. There was no mention of new iPads at the September keynote address and this week an Apple event saw only Macs on the agenda.
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This means Apple is going beyond the one-year mark, with any Pro updates probably slated for 2017, and March touted as the expected release.
What will it do?
A faster processor, more durability and better cameras are among the big-ticket items tipped for the second generation iPad Pro. This is based on the new era of innovation released by Apple this year with iPhone 7.
One of the biggest highlights of this year's iPhone release was new camera technology and it is anticipated this could carry through in part to the iPad Pro 2. The iPhone 7 boasted image stabilising technology, a new flash, wider lens and flicker sensitivity to artificial light, supported by software upgrades.
Whether or not the iPad will get any or all of these remains to be seen, but PC Advisor tips it will at least get the improved cameras that came with the 9.7-inch. These included a 12MP iSight main camera with live pictures and 4K video recording, along with the 5MP front FaceTime HD camera with Retina Flash.
True Tone display
Among other things the new 12.9-inch may borrow from its younger brother in any upgrade will be True Tone display, which automatically adjusts the screen brightness depending on the environment.
PC Advisor also notes one rumour doing the rounds is increased software support for the Apple Pencil. At present it only works with select apps but in the future could be used to annotate in more areas, like emails, messenger and Safari.
There is little doubt a new processor would be the order of the day for any iPad Pro upgrade especially in the 12.9 inch model. Rumour has it the 12.9 and possible 10.5 would boast a new A10x processor, while the 9.7 may settle in as the poorer but no less worthy second cousin falling back on the current A9x variety.
This would fulfil Kuo's tip that the 12.9 and 10.5 are to become the elite models, while the 9.7 would be the garden variety option. And while we're talking double digits, it's likely to utilise the recently unveiled iOS10 operating system.
Slimmer and lighter
TechRadar punts the Pro 2 might be set for some weight loss, with Apple usually keen to refine and reduce the weight and girth of the upgraded products.
Water and dust resistant?
This one may be a little left-field but would be welcome news to any iPad user who has ever encountered rain; the new model may (just may) embrace the technology utilised on the iPhone 7 to make it dust and water resistant.
In a big reveal at Apple's September Keynote address, it announced a total revamp of the iconic Home button, creating a Taptic Engine to drive the feature. This allows for more intuitive use that is force sensitive and provides feedback. Could the iPad Pro follow suit?
Storage is expected to remain largely the same with the 256GB model included in the lineup. That would bring the number of storage options to three: 32GB, 128GB and 256GB.
The 9.7-inch currently comes in the four colours of silver, rose gold, gold and space grey, but might Apple add black to the list? They were all about black at this year's iPhone 7 release, with a jet black and standard black variety.
The last word
Like most anticipated updates to Apple products, the iPad Pro 2 is garnering some serious speculation, but what, when and how groundbreaking this new model will be is only a matter of conjecture until the Apple executives dust off their jeans and skivvies and take to the stage for the big reveal.