Last week Apple announced a long-awaited update to its flagship iPad Pro range. The new tablet retains the same all-screen design as its predecessor but totes an entirely new camera system complete with an ultra wide-angle and a new LiDAR scanner for improved depth sensing. The hardware also boasts new internals in the form of Apple’s in-house A12Z Bionic that should be able to blitz through intense tasks like 4K video editing or 3D modelling
iPadOS 13.4 is available for all iPad Pro models, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, and iPad mini 4 and later. That means you don’t need to fork out for Apple’s new flagship tablet to turn your existing iPad, or a cheaper model, into a productive powerhouse.
Trackpad and mouse support is certainly an upgrade many Apple fans have been crying out for over the last few years. The functionality brings a level of precision that you simply can’t get from swiping with your fingers.
Apple admitted as such in its announcement of iPadOS 13.4 with the firm saying: “iPadOS 13.4 brings trackpad support to iPad for the first time for a more natural typing experience and added precision for tasks such as writing and selecting text, working with spreadsheets and pro workflows.
The new iPads also take advantage of iPadOS 13.4 to introduce trackpad support, complete with an optional, backlit Magic Keyboard cover that includes a trackpad of its own as well as USB-C passthrough. Apple says it’s truly optimized for the iPad, with a circle that highlights interface elements, easy text selection and gestures that help you switch apps, bring up the dock and otherwise perform tasks that normally require poking at the screen. “Most” apps won’t need updates to take advantage of this, according to Apple, but developers can take advantage of this support if they want. Apple’s productivity apps (Numbers, Pages and Keynote) will soon get updates to make better use of the Magic Keyboard, and you can expect trackpad support on previous-generation iPad Pro models as well.
This also brings equivalent support for Bluetooth and USB mice.
There are numerous subtler but likely still noticeable upgrades. Rather than simply borrow the A13 chip from the iPhone 11 family, the new iPad Pro uses an eight-core A12Z Bionic processor, an “enhanced” thermal design and updated performance controllers to wring out more speed. Gigabit-class LTE should be 60 percent faster, too. You can also expect “studio-quality” microphones akin to the upgrade Apple gave the 16-inch MacBook Pro, and the baseline storage has jumped to 128GB to provide some sorely needed breathing room.
The iOS 13.4 and iPadOS 13.4 updates will be available on March 24th.
Prices haven’t substantially changed for the refreshed models. The 11-inch iPad is available to order now at $799 for a 128GB WiFi version, and $999 for its larger 12.9-inch counterpart. You can add $150 to the price for the cellular variants, and there are 256GB, 512GB and 1TB storage options if you need more space for your projects. Get ready to pay a premium if you want that Magic Keyboard, though. It’ll cost a whopping $299 for the 11-inch iPad Pro ($349 for the 12.9-inch model) when it arrives in May. If you just want a keyboard, an updated Smart Keyboard Folio is available now for $179 on the 11-inch slate and $199 for the 12.9-inch version. You should also see the new iPads in stores as of next week, although the coronavirus outbreak means you won’t see them in Apple stores (or many stores, for that matter) for a long time.