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New iPad Pro, iPad Air, Apple Pencil, Magic Keyboard are still on the way

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After the release of MacBook Air with M3, a report insists that updated iPad models are still on the way, accompanied by new accessories.

Apple was expected to launch a number of new products in quick succession, with the MacBook Air and iPad Pro changes arriving at around the same time. Though MacBook Air with M3 did launch in the first week of March, customers are still waiting on the rest of the rumored items.

Writing in Sunday's "Power On" newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman insists Apple is preparing to launch updated models of the iPad Pro and iPad Air, along with a redesigned Magic Keyboard and yet another version of the Apple Pencil. These changes are expected sometime around the end of March or in April, with a possible revision to iPadOS 17.4 to ensure compatibility.

The long-rumored 12.9-inch iPad Air is expected to debut alongside the updated iPad Pros, further blurring the line between the two product classes.

One of the anticipated changes coming to the iPad Air and Pro lineup is expected to be moving the FaceTime Camera in all models to the long side of the devices, which makes more sense for FaceTime calls. The current 10th-generation iPad was the first model to move the camera to a landscape orientation, and code within iPadOS 17.4 suggests that cameras will be in that position when users set up FaceTime on the as-yet-unreleased models.

The moving of the camera to the landscape orientation may come at a cost, though. The existing iPad Pros have a magnetic attachment on the landscape side where the Apple Pencil can both attach and charge, and it is unclear if that feature could remain if the front-facing camera moves to that position.

The biggest change to the updated Pro models will be a move to OLED screens, which may also trigger a price hike. Currently, iPad Pros use LED-backlit or mini-LED technology, depending on the size.

It's likely that at least one of the anticipated iPad Air models, which will mimic the sizes of the iPad Pros, will "inherit" the mini-LED screen quality.

Apple Pencil

Consequently, rumors have indicated that yet another version of the Apple Pencil will be forthcoming. Apple brought out a less-expensive but non-magnetic Apple Pencil with USB-C last year, which can still "snap" magnetically to existing iPad Air and Pro models but no longer charges that way, relying instead on a sliding USB-C cap for wired charging.

The USB-C version lacks pressure sensitivity, however, and thus is more for traditional handwriting and note-taking uses than drawing. Because Apple will likely soon be dropping support for the original Apple Pencil and the older Lightning-based iPad models, it is hard to say what features the next version would support that would go beyond those of the second-generation model.

Magic Keyboard

Also expected is a redesigned Magic Keyboard for the new models.

The new version is expected to sport an aluminum material for the "top case," the area around the keyboard, to make the unit sturdier and more closely resemble the look and feel of the MacBook Pro and Air keyboard. A larger trackpad area is also anticipated.

The outward material of the updated Magic Keyboards is thought to be the same as the current models. Current rumors suggest the units will also offer a USB-C port separate from the one on the iPads themselves.