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2024 iPads are coming – FINALLY

Apple yesterday sent out the invites for the Let Loose event – let’s take a look shall we…

2022 iPad Pro in grey with Rubiks cube

iPads are coming at last!!

The will they won’t they or more accurately when will they finally got laid to rest yesterday as the invites started to land for Apple’s latest event. We all know there is a sub-culture of trying to pull apart Apple’s invites, playing detective and looking for clues of what the event holds in store.

For Let Loose you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure it out – the answer is more or less staring you straight in the face – it’s all about iPads and it’s not a moment too soon. The date is set for 3 PM BST on Tuesday 7th May for the pre-recorded event to roll out.

If you need more clues then Tim Cook’s Tweet yesterday pretty much confirmed what’s coming with adding a pencil emoji to his message.

It appears that Apple is playing around with more frequent smaller events to find out what piques interest more. The stream time suits us in the UK fine – 3 PM is perfect but that’s a 7 AM PT role call over there. The last Apple event – Scary Fast was at the other end of the day – 5 PM so it would seem as if Apple is very much in the experimental mode with these events.

There has been no mention of any in-person element for Let Loose however if they follow the form of Scary Fast then we can expect a handful of creators to be invited to a hands-on experience in New York directly after the event.

So what do we expect Apple to announce on 7th May?

iPad Air

The first iPad to get some love will be the iPad Air range – with an addition to the existing lineup.

Currently, there is only one size of iPad Air available – the 10.9-inch model but all the rumours suggest that we are about to get our hands on a larger 12.9-inch version too.

The iPad Air range will be upgraded to the M2 chip that is currently found in the iPad Pro range and we also expect them to inherit the outgoing micro LED displays from the Pro range as well. It makes sense as there is an inventory available of the 12.9-inch displays that will no longer be used by the iPad Pros.

Like the Pro, the Air will be slimmer and have a newly designed pill design camera bump on the back. Finally, the front-facing camera will move to the landscape orientation.

iPad Pro

This is the one I’ve been waiting for.

I’ve never been an iPad fan or user. I’ve had a couple over the years but never invested the time into them to get the best out of them – but that is all about to change.

I’m genuinely excited about the prospect of getting my hands on this new iPad Pro – and I’ll be going in hard – buying the new, large 13-inch Pro with the new keyboard and pencil. It’s safe to say May is going to be an expensive month then!

Apart from the larger form factor I’ve just mentioned with a 13-inch model standing alongside the 11-inch model, they will also be beefed up to run M3 Apple silicon and come packed with an OLED display with the possible option of a matt finish too.

Because of that OLED technology, the Pro is going to be slimmer – shaving almost one millimetre off and now coming in at only 5mm thick. Some are worried about bend-gate rearing its head again – is 5mm too think for such a large tablet?

The bezels will be slimmer and once again the camera will move to the ‘correct’ place and sit on the long edge for a more natural experience when making video calls.

The final rumour I’ve heard about for the 2024 iPad Pro range is that MagSafe wireless charging could make its way to iPad Pro. Although a glass back would make it more vulnerable to breaking if dropped it would be a welcome spec bump.

The keyboard

Alongside those new iPads will be two new iPad Pro-only accessories – a new keyboard and as per the invite, a new pencil.

If the rumours prove to be true then the accessories could well turn out to be almost as exciting as the stars of the show.

The idea behind the redesigned keyboard will mean that the iPad Pro will look and feel more like a MacBook with an even larger trackpad with the top of the keyboard being made from Mac-like aluminium. The outside will still be made from the same silicon that’s currently used – although there have been some stories floating about that MagSafe may find its way to the keyboard as well.

Lastly, some patent applications surfaced over the past few months showing that the keyboard may have a housing for the Apple Pencil in its hinge and that there may also be a more varied range of elevations making it more comfortable to use.

New Apple Pencil

The invite seems to confirm that a new Apple Pencil is on its way.

The main changes to the 4th Gen Apple Pencil would bring gestures to it and would likely make it compatible with the Vision Pro. The gestures may provide users with a quicker way to add a sticker, text box, signature, or shape in image editing apps.

It’s a wrap

So I guess in two weeks we’ll know exactly what we’re dealing with.

As the iPad range hasn’t had any updates since late 2022 this refresh is both overdue and hotly anticipated. I’m not sure what has got me so into the idea of wanting to own an iPad Pro but I’ve not felt this excited for an event or a new product in a long while.

I’ll not be looking to try and replace my Macs with the iPad Pro but rather see how it can augment or complement them. After all these years I’m ready at last to give iPad a decent workout and to see if I’ve been wrong all along.

May may well be an expensive month for me but I’ll also be stepping into an exciting new arena for me as well. You’ve gotta break some eggs to make an omelette, right?

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