KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted last fall that the next iPad Pro refresh will include Face ID biometric security features first introduced with the iPhone X. Now, new code present in iOS 11.3 beta includes numerous references to unreleased iPad models that support that claim.

The evidence is found in iOS code that references an unreleased ‘modern iPad’ which first appeared in iOS 11.2.5 and became more present with iOS 11.3. This suggests ongoing development of the unreleased iPad, and the reference name is quite telling in terms of what to expect.

That’s because ‘modern iPhone’ was the reference name assigned to the iPhone X before it debuted. The ‘modern’ reference is used to distinguish between hardware with iPhone 8 and earlier hardware versus iPhone X hardware with the difference being Touch ID versus Face ID.

KGI’s initial report didn’t specify other changes aside from the addition of Face ID, although the technology was accompanied by a dramatic redesign with the iPhone X, so the same could be possible for the iPad.

Kuo did predict that Face ID will only come to the ‘Pro’ version of new iPads in 2018, however, and not on cheaper models yet.

The TrueDepth Camera system would enable unlocking iPads with facial recognition, support for Animoji, and possibly Portrait mode selfies. iPads currently do not support Portrait mode as they have only single rear cameras and no Face ID.

We’ll update if any further details about ‘modern iPad’ are discovered.

Mockup by Ben Geskin 

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