The new iPad Pro is powered by the A12Z processor and features a new camera setup on the back. Apple has also unveiled a new Magic Keyboard with a trackpad for iPad Pro.
The iPad Pro is Apple’s professional tablet choice. This iPad promises to fill any professional user’s needs with a stunning display and high specs. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
Table of contents
The first-generation iPad Pro was first available in November of 2015 with a giant 12.9-inch screen. Later in March of 2016, Apple announced a smaller version, with a 9.7-inch display. Apple also introduced the first-generation Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard with this iPad
The Apple Pencil was a key accessory to this iPad since it rejects the user’s palm while in use and is designed for low latency to enable smooth marking on the screen. The Smart Keyboard makes it easier for the user to take notes and work anywhere with the iPad.
The second generation arrived in June of 2017, featuring the A10X Fusion processor and up to 512GB of storage. The 9.7-inch model was replaced with a 10.5-inch version.
In October of 2018, Apple introduced the third-generation iPad Pro, giving the tablet its biggest update yet. With a bezel-less design, the 12.9-inch model became smaller, while Apple replaced the 10.5-inch version for the first-generation 11-inch iPad Pro.
Apple added Face ID to the tablet, with the ability to unlock the iPad in any orientation. This was also the first mobile product from the company to feature a USB-C port. With up to 1TB of storage, Apple also introduced the second-generation Apple Pencil, now charging when attached to the iPad’s side, and a new Smart Keyboard Folio that protects the iPad when closed.
In March of 2020, Apple introduced the fourth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the second-generation 11-inch model. These iPads were the first product to feature a redesigned camera module and the LiDAR Scanner.
in April of 2021, Apple unveiled the fifth-generation iPad Pro with the M1 chip, Thunderbolt port, 5G support, and the mini-LED display technology in the 12.9-inch model.
iPad Pro Specs and Accessories
Apple sells today the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (5th generation) and the 11-inch model (third generation). Both versions feature the M1 chip, which is up to 50% faster than the A12Z Bionic in the previous model, 5G support, a Thunderbolt port, and up to 2TB of storage.
For the first time, Apple says the models with more than 1TB of storage have 16GB of RAM, and versions with less than 1TB of storage have 8GB of RAM.
The iPad Pro uses Face ID technology and has a redesigned camera module, with 12MP Wide Len, 10MP Ultra Wide Len, and a LiDAR Scanner, which is used for AR applications and helps to enhance focus while recording videos or taking pictures.
The TrueDepth camera now has a 12MP Ultra Wide Len with the “Center Stage” feature, which always puts the user in the center of a video call.
With up to ten hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi or up to nine hours using a cellular data network, this iPad is available in Silver and Space Gray.
The fifth-generation Pro model works with the Magic Keyboard, featuring a trackpad, backlighted keys, a hinge to adjust the viewing angle, and a USB-C port for pass-through charging. It’s available in white and black. This model also uses the second-generation Apple Pencil, which charges attached to the iPad. You can learn more about the 2021 iPad Pro here.
The iPad Pro runs iPadOS 15. Previewed during the WWDC21 keynote, the operating system brings a redesigned Home Screen with widgets and App Library support.
In the productivity section, Apple, unfortunately, didn’t bring all the features pro users wanted to take full advantage of their new M1 iPad Pro, even though, later this year, it will be possible to create apps using Swift Playgrounds, as you can learn more about it here
There’s a new multitasking menu on the top of the screen. When you click there, it’s possible to see what configurations you can use on Split View or just go to Slide Over with just a tap.
The experience with an external keyboard allows users to get more done with all-new keyboard shortcuts and a redesign of the menu bar.
With the Quick Note feature, users can use the Apple Pencil to add a quick note. They just need to slide the pencil through the bottom right corner to the center of the screen and start writing.
iPadOS 15 is already out, with version 15.0.1 also available. Learn more about it here. In a future update, Apple will bring SharePlay for the iPad, which will let users share their screens, listen to Apple Music songs together, or watch Apple TV+, HBO Max, Disney+, and others while in a call.
One month after releasing iPadOS 15, Apple released iPadOS 15.1 More notable, the company finally brought SharePlay support for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. Unfortunately, Universal Control wasn’t one of the features added with this new version. Here’s what else is new:
- Mandarin Chinese (Taiwan) support in the Translate app and for system-wide translation
- New automation triggers based on the current reading of a HomeKit-enabled humidity, air quality, or light level sensor
- New pre-built actions let you overlay text on images or gifs, plus a new collection of games lets you pass the time with Siri
Five weeks after releasing iPadOS 15.1, Apple is releasing iPadOS 15.2. It brings more features that were expected to launch alongside iPadOS 15. Here are the top features of this version:
- Apple Music Voice Plan is a new subscription tier that gives you access to all songs, playlists, and stations in Apple Music using Siri
- App Privacy Report in Settings lets you see how often apps have accessed your location, photos, camera, microphone, contacts, and more during the last seven days, as well as their network activity
- Communication safety setting gives parents the ability to enable warnings for children when they receive or send photos that contain nudity
- Digital Legacy allows you to designate people as Legacy Contacts so they can access your iCloud account and personal information in the event of your death
- Apple TV app: Store tab lets you browse, buy, and rent movies and TV Shows all in one place
Six weeks after releasing iPadOS 15.2, Apple is releasing iPadOS 15.3. This update foregoes new features in favor of under-the-hood bug fixes and improvements. One of the most notable changes here is a fix for a Safari vulnerability that may have been leaking your browsing history and Google ID data to the websites you visited.
iPadOS 15.4 finally brings one of the most important features expected from iPadOS 15 and that got delayed: Universal Control. Here’s everything new with iPadOS 15.4:
- Universal Control: This feature allows you to control your Mac and iPad using the same keyboard and mouse/trackpad. Universal Control needs iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3;
- New Siri voice: Siri has a fifth American voice. Apple says a member of the LGBTQ+ community recorded the voice and it’s non-binary;
- More emoji: iPadOS 15.4 also brings new emojis. You can discover all of the new characters here;
- Shortcuts automation: Adds support for running Personal Automations in the background without requiring a pesky banner notification.
You can learn everything new with this update here.
Different from other software updates, iPadOS 15.5 only improves the Podcast app experience, as Apple focused on Wallet changes for the iPhone this time:
- Apple Podcasts includes a new setting to limit episodes stored on your iPhone and automatically delete older ones
iPadOS 15.7 features
Apple released iPadOS 15.7 with bug fixes while the company readies iPadOS 16.
With iPad OS 14, Apple has redesigned widgets for the Home Screen and added a new enhanced sidebar, compact calls function, and Scribble. With this function, you don’t have to put your Apple Pencil away to do other things. You can write by hand in any text field across iPadOS, and your words automatically convert to text.
Messages received pinned conversations, group photos, and inline replies. It’s possible to mention people in iMessage now and give your Memoji a more personalized look.
In April, Apple released iPadOS 14.5, with some major changes in the iPadOS 14 cycle:
- App Tracking Transparency: iPadOS 14.5 includes the new App Tracking Transparency feature. This requires that applications ask permission from users before tracking them across other apps and websites. For example, when you open the Facebook app, you’ll see a prompt that says the app would like to track you across other apps and services. There will be two options from which to choose: “Ask App Not to Track” or “Allow.”
- Siri: There is a new Siri intelligence feature that helps the virtual assistant adapt to your preferring music application. Apple also added two additional Siri voice options from which to choose. The company has said that these changes are part of its ongoing commitment to diversity.
- Emoji: iPadOS 14.5 adds over 200 new emojis.
- Podcasts: Podcasts Show Pages are redesigned to make it easier to start listening to a podcast. Option to save and download episodes, automatically adding them to your library for quick access. Top Charts and popular categories in Search help discover new shows.
- Horizontal boot screen on the iPad
- Updates to the Music app, including swipe gestures, a lyrics sharing feature, and more.
Even though Apple gave the option for users to stay on iPadOS 14.8 and not update to iPadOS 15, the company now recommends users to update their devices, as it won’t release new updates to iPadOS 14.
iPad Pro (2021) pricing starts at $799 for the 11-inch model, with a 128GB storage option, and Wi-Fi only. The prices can go up to $2,399 with the 12.9-inch model, 2TB storage option, and Wi-Fi + Cellular. Here are the full prices of the third-generation 11-inch model and the fifth-generation 12.9-inch version Apple sell:
11-inch iPad Pro and accessories:
- 128GB with Wi-Fi: $799
- 128GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $949
- 256GB with Wi-Fi: $899
- 256GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $1,049
- 512GB with Wi-Fi: $1,099
- 512GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $1,249
- 1TB with Wi-Fi: $1,299
- 1TB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $1,499
- 2TB with Wi-Fi: $1899
- 2TB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $ 2.099
- Magic Keyboard (11-inch): $299
- Apple Pencil (2nd gen): $129
12.9-inch iPad Pro and accessories:
- 128GB with Wi-Fi: $1099
- 128GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $1,299
- 256GB with Wi-Fi: $1,199
- 256GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $1,399
- 512GB with Wi-Fi: $1,399
- 512GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $1,599
- 1TB with Wi-Fi: $1,799
- 1TB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $1,999
- 2TB with Wi-Fi: $2,199
- 2TB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $2,399
- Magic Keyboard (11-inch): $349
- Apple Pencil (2nd gen): $129
Lower prices may be available from Apple’s official Amazon store. You can also find the Magic Keyboard and second-generation Apple Pencil.
2021 iPad Pro Launch
The fifth generation launched on May 21. Orders started on April 30, 2021.
Fifth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro review
In our video review of the fifth-generation iPad Pro, we say this is the perfect model to upgrade if you want the power of the M1 chip on the iPad but it still needs a better software update to unleash its full power.
Hardware-wise this is the complete package. The 2021 iPad is basically a Mac computer without macOS. But it’s so much more than a Mac, and that’s what makes the iPad such a compelling product. The iPad has a display that’s better than any MacBook, can connect to the Internet independent of Wi-Fi, has a better speaker system, features easy Face ID authentication, works with the Apple Pencil, and so much more.
If Apple can provide big enhancements in areas like multitasking, external display support, and file management, I think the iPad will finally be able to compete with the Mac and be the laptop replacement that so many people have wanted it to be.
Over at 9to5Toys, you can find the best deals on the iPad Pro and other Apple products. Download the 9to5Toys iPhone app to receive push notifications for new deals as well.
After a year since Apple released the M1 iPad Pro, there are some rumors about its next generation.
According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and supply chain analyst Ross Young, Apple will not add a miniLED display to the new 11-inch iPad Pro model, keeping this technology for the larger version.
Kuo’s report also corroborates that the 2022 iPad Pro will likely keep the same screen sizes as the current generation, which are 11 and 12.9 inches. In December of 2021, Mark Gurman’s Power On newsletter gave Apple customers a tidbit of what to expect from the new iPad Pro.
He says that Apple is planning a new iPad Pro design with support for wireless charging, as well as updates to the lower-end iPad Air and entry-level iPad.
In January 2022, 9to5Mac was able to report that Apple is indeed working on a new iPad Pro, but it won’t feature a full glass back. The company is planning to grow the Apple logo with glass material so it can charge the device through MagSafe support. An M2 chip is also expected.
According to Gurman, these new iPad Pro should be available in the near future, around October or November.