Apple is running out of months to launch its 2022 iPad Pro in 2022, but they are said to be arriving “within days” – and Apple is also said to be working on a new role for all iPad tablets.
This comes from the usually reliable Mark Gurman of Bloomberg (opens in new tab), he says, the updated 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros will run the latest Apple M2 processor for about a 20% performance boost. The design is said to be similar to the current 11-inch iPad Pro and 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
Gurman said the new tablets aren’t guaranteed to be the real deal — consistent with previous speculation — and he said a new entry-level iPad with USB-C and a redesigned design is also in the works, but he didn’t specify when that would appear. (we think it could be unveiled at the same time as the iPad Pros).
Gourmand has another interesting iPad tidbit to reveal: Apple is also working on an iPad dock accessory that will turn its tablets into smart displays. It won’t open this month, but could open sometime next year.
This is a market category we’ve been waiting for Apple to enter for a while: previous leaks (also, from the same source) suggested a HomePod with a display or an Apple TV 4K with a display, but now it seems that Apple is approaching the product from a different angle.
This is similar to the method used by the Google Pixel Tablet. When the budget tablet finally arrives, we know it will come with an accessory that turns the tablet into a Google Nest Hub when installed.
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It’s no surprise that Apple is planning to launch a dock that turns the iPad into a smart display – the idea is pretty obvious, even if we think about it. The iPad already comes with the Home app and Siri on board, so all the basics are there: all you need is a power source and an additional audio signal.
As mentioned above, this is the approach Google is using with its Pixel Tablet, but Amazon already has one – Amazon’s Fire HD slates come with accessories that turn the tablets into Echo Show displays when installed. It’s just a matter of changing a few interfaces.
This means your tablet can do all the things you need it to do when you’re carrying it around the house, while also doing double duty as a home hub screen when you’re busy doing something else – it’s not like many of us take our tablets out of the house.
The only problem is that truly embedded tablets may need a new name – to differentiate them from smart displays that don’t have a detachable screen – any suggestions are welcome. It seems that battery-powered smart displays will be the next logical step…