The new iPad Pro line was announced earlier this year, but rumours continue to swirl around other iPads that seem certain to be announced in late 2020, particularly an update to the iPad Air and iPad mini.
There’s a bunch of potential features that could also come to the next-generation iPad Pro in 2021, while we also know all about iPadOS 14, the new software that will be running on all new iPads.
Lookup if your existing iPad will run the new software: iPadOS 14 system requirements: Will the new iPadOS run on your iPad?
The recently-announced iPad Pro comes in 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes based around the also-new A12Z Bionic chipset. Not much has changed in terms of the main design but there’s now a triple camera with LiDAR sensor.
With the iPad Pro and other models getting full trackpad support (as long as they can run iPadOS 13.4), will we see the new Magic Keyboard with trackpad come to other, non-Pro, iPads in future, too?
Apple iPad rumours: What’s happened so far?
Here’s everything we have heard so far about the next iPad models.
26 August 2020 – New iPad model numbers spotted
It looks very much like we’re going to get a refresh of all non-Pro iPads – A2270, A2072, A2316, A2324, A2325, A2428, A2429. That looks very much like a refreshing and re-aligning of the complete lineup with the possible exception of the iPad mini. The model numbers were spotted on the EEC database where devices are ratified for sale in Russia and other countries.
9 July 2020 – iPadOS 14 public beta now available
Apple has launched the public beta version of iPadOS 14. It is free to download and includes first-looks at all the new iPadOS features.
26 June 2020 – iPadOS 14 will bring keyboard, mouse and trackpad support for games
Also announced during Apple’s developer conference was the ability for game developers to support the iPad’s trackpad and keyboard (as well as mouse control) in future titles. Additional gamepads will also be supported including the Xbox One Elite 2 Wireless Controller and the accessible Xbox Adaptive Controller.
22 June 2020 – iPadOS 14 announced
Like iOS 14, the new version of iPadOS was announced at Apple’s developer conference and has data-rich widgets and other enhancements. But iPadOS goes further than iOS and many apps now have a sidebar so you can drag and drop more easily – for example in Music and Files.
Many apps also have a new Tools menu at the top of the screen to free up space at the bottom. And also in iOS and iPad OS incoming call notifications no longer take up the whole screen so you can easily dismiss them if you’re working on something else.
4 June 2020 – Early 2021 iPad Pro expected to come with 5G and MiniLED displays
The MiniLED display rumour has been around for a while, but this report is a little different in that it says the 2021 iPad Pro will boast the Qualcomm X55 modem for 5G cellular connectivity instead of 4G LTE. They will also have a new A14X processor, which isn’t a big leap to surmise.
15 May 2020 – Upgrades to iPad Air and mini expected in late 2020 or early 2021
TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests there will be a new 10.8-inch iPad (presumably to replace the iPad Air) and a new iPad mini that would clock in between the 8.5 and 9-inch size. That means it would have a screen at least half an inch bigger than the current iPad mini display.
19 April 2020 – iPad Air will have under-display Touch ID
According to an accurate Apple leaker, Apple is planning a 2020 iPad Air with Touch ID under the display, meaning it can ditch the bezel and look much sleeker. While we still think it’s more likely any new iPad will go for Face ID, the retention of Touch ID on the iPhone SE (2020) shows Apple is still willing to make new devices with Touch ID. The leaker also suggests the new iPad Air will have a Mini-LED display, which we think is a bit less likely.
16 April 2020 – Mini-LED iPads could be delayed until 2021, could be 5G
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that a new iPad featuring Mini-LED could be delayed until early 2021. This may not be for any reason other than we have already had an iPad Pro refresh in 2020 and so it makes sense to space things out because the iPad Pro is the most likely to get the new display. At that point, a new iPad Pro at that point is likely to be released with 5G on board.
2 December 2019: Could new iPads have Mini-LED displays?
This report – via 9to5Mac – suggested that upcoming iPad displays will switch to Mini-LED and that other products will also go the same way, with the MacBook Pro 16-inch also switching to the upgraded tech during 2020, possibly at the same time as a MacBook Pro 14-inch is launched to replace the current 13-inch.
It was also suggested new iPads could be based around a beefed-up Apple A14X processor.
4 October 2019: Apple might have a haptic on-screen keyboard in future so you can feel the ‘keys’
Could Apple have a tactile touchscreen keyboard on its iPads in future? A patent, discovered by Patently Apple, shows a next-gen haptics tech known as Static Pattern Electrostatic Haptic Electrodes. A variety of voltages could be applied which would make typing on the device feel different.
The site said such efforts could mean that touchscreen keyboards could, in future, potentially emulate the feel of more traditional keyboards – even with concave-feeling ‘keys’ – so users would be able to find their place on the keyboard without looking down at it.