The rumor mill is churning hard and fast now as we get closer to an inevitable Apple Event. However, with most of the stories just repeating variations on the same models and basic features, this is a good time to step back and see what other new features that users may be looking for in the new crop of iPads. Whether hardware, software, or both, there is no better time than a hardware refresh to consider what we hope Apple is cooking up in Cupertino.
As we get closer to impending iPad announcements, the rumors are slowly giving us a more accurate picture of coming attractions. The reports of a 10.5″ Pro device have been loud, clear, and consistent, and are still pointing to a new SKU in the iPad line. This is as close to a full-on device leak as we can get, so the 10.5″ model looks all but certain now.
As we close in on the month of March, which seems almost certain to hold the promise of an Apple Event, the rumors of new iPads continue to abound. However, in the last week or so, they seem to have taken a turn. While there is growing certainty that there will be an event in March, whether we will actually get iPad hardware that soon is now being called into question.
March is just around the corner, and with it comes the wish lists and rumor-mill pre-game shows leading up to a probable Apple Event. The spring time is when we have come to expect new iPad announcements that often include accessories with with some occasional iPhone goodness sprinkled in for good measure. This year appears to be no different. In fact, this year might actually be one of the busiest spring Apple Events in recent memory.
All the usual, mostly reliable suspects are chiming in, and many of them have been predicting very similar announcements. Tops on the list of predictions is the release of a new iPad screen size in the lineup. The size reference to this new iPad size varies somewhat, but it is expected to be in the 10.5″ to 10.9″ range, with the latest supply line leaks suggesting more than likely to be 10.5″.
As we close the book on January, the rumors of a March Apple event centered on the iPad are coming fast and furious now. There are multiple reports of a new iPad Pro in a different size, an Apple Pencil refresh, and potentially some other Apple device updates, as well. With the iPad line progressively trending away from the Air and Mini and toward the Pro line over the last year, this next event should give us some clarification as Apple’s intentions for the tablet category going forward. This will be especially interesting given the continuing declines in year over year sales and profits for the iPad line that we recently learned about during Apple’s quarterly sales call.
Although Apple didn’t talk much about the iPad during the iPhone and Apple Watch announcement last week, they still surprised us by doubling standard storage plans, while also dropping prices on the iPad Pro line. All iPads had their base storage limits doubled from 16GB to 32GB, without changing their price points. In addition, the iPad Pro line had their 128GB and 256GB models drop by $50 and $100 respectively. Was Apple just being generous, or is this possibly some foreshadowing ahead of an iPad refresh announcement as early as next month? It’s still too early to say, but Apple often slices prices prior to new product announcements and storage plan updates. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long before getting an answer.
Apple’s Special Media event last week was chalked full of new product announcements and improvements to their current hardware and software lineups. There was so much to talk about that it was easy to miss the importance of any one announcement over another. For those of us especially interested in the iPad Pro, there were some really awesome accessories that were also announced. We already talked about the Apple Pencil, and what we think having a dedicated drawing tool for a professional device like the iPad Pro could accomplish in the hands of talented iOS developers. Now its time to shift gears and put the spotlight on the Smart Keyboard–a new keyboard Apple specially designed to integrate seamlessly with the iPad Pro.
During the Special Media event yesterday Apple introduced the all new iPad Pro. We already shared how much we love the new form factor, blazing speed of the new A9X processor, performance boosting GPU, and integrated quad speaker system. However, to say this announcement caught most of us a little off-guard is an understatement. It’s not that we weren’t expecting a jumbo size iPad. We heard the rumor mill churning all summer like everyone else. We fully anticipated that Apple would make an announcement some time this summer or early fall. What caught us by surprise was how much we were blown away after watching the keynote. More accurately — how much we tried to convince ourselves we needed an iPad Pro in our lives!
At its core, the iPad Pro is still an iPad — an iPad on steroids, but an iPad nonetheless. So what makes this new model so appealing to both current and potentially new iPad owners? Simply put, we think it’s the sum of its parts, especially the two new accessories Apple designed specifically for the iPad Pro. Right now let’s focus on the Apple Pencil and what functionality it adds to the user experience.
Hey Siri–give us a hint?
As with other recent Special Apple Media Events, this one will be live-streamed for your viewing pleasure. This means that if you have access to an iOS device or Mac, or even a Windows computer–that’s right, I said it, you can watch the event live. Here are the minimum requirements and the devices that will support the live-stream…
- Live streaming uses Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) technology. HLS requires an
- iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with Safari on iOS 7.0 or later
- Mac with Safari 6.0.5 or later on OS X v10.8.5 or later
- A PC with Microsoft Edge on Windows 10.
- Streaming via Apple TV requires a second- or third-generation Apple TV with software 6.2 or later.
Make sure to have your snack bowl and beverage next to you, and your iPhone on mute by 1 PM EST. Most importantly, point your Safari browser here to watch a live feed of inside the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium before the event, as well as the live-stream of all the big announcements. For a list of what we expect to be announced at the keynote click here. Enjoy the show!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock or something over the past couple weeks, you already know that Apple has a major Media Event scheduled for tomorrow. They will be taking over the vast expanse of the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco to unveil what is expected to be “the motherland” of product announcements. Multiple outlets have been reporting that Apple will announce and/or release the following products at the event
- iPhone 6S
- iPhone 6S Plus
- iPad Pro
- iPad mini 4
- 4th Gen Apple TV
- iOS 9
- watch OS2
- New Apple Watch bands
- New Apple Watch finishes
Typically, with iPhone announcements like this we expect to be able to pre-order the new models starting as early as this Friday (9/11), with updates to iOS 9 and watch OS2 coming a couple days ahead of in-store iPhone sales a week from Friday (9/18). New Apple watch bands and finishes will most likely be available immediately or perhaps along side the new iPhones.
While the Apple TV could potentially be available as early as this week, we do not expect an iPad Pro to go on sale until October potentially anchoring the release of El Capitan and the iPad mini 4.
This should go down as one of the most packed Apple announcements in keynote history. Make sure you have your calendar cleared at 1pm EST tomorrow afternoon. In addition, be sure to stop back here in the days that follow to get up to speed on all iPad related goodness!