iPad Overview Updated September 19, 2022

iPad (2021)

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February 2010 - February 2023

The iPad is Apple’s base tablet model. In its ninth generation, the iPad focuses on being the perfect tool for education and people who seek a bigger screen to read and surface the web compared to the iPhone. With Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard support, the iPad has never been better.

History

The iPad is a line of tablets designed and developed by Apple. It was originally announced in 2010, three years after the first iPhone was introduced. With a 9.7-inch screen and with iPhone OS 3.2 the iPad was a success, hitting 1 million tablets sold in over three months, half the time the first iPhone took to reach this mark.

Steve Jobs then unveiled the iPad 2 in March of 2011. About 33% thinner than its predecessor and 15% lighter, the second generation used the A5 chip, twice as faster as its predecessor. The iPad 2 also introduced front and back cameras that supported FaceTime video calls.

The successor of the iPad 2 wasn’t a success at all. The third generation was introduced in March of 2012 with a Retina display and the A5X processor. The problem with this tablet it was too heavy and the battery didn’t last long enough. In October of the same year, Apple announced the fourth generation with the A6X processor, HD FaceTime camera, improved LTE capabilities, and the Lightning connector.

At this October event, Apple also introduced the first iPad mini. In 2013, Apple went with the first iPad Air and the iPad mini 2. In 2015, the company introduced the first Pro model, with two different sizes.

iPad

In March of 2017, Apple announced the fifth-generation iPad with the A9 processor. It was a budget option compared to the other tablets. It was in 2018 that the company brought expressive news to the base iPad line. The sixth-generation had the A10 Fusion processor and fully supports the first-generation Apple Pencil.

A year later, the seventh generation was announced with a larger 10.2-inch display and support for the Smart Keyboard as well. It retained most of the specs of the previous model.

In September of 2020, the eighth generation was introduced alongside the fourth-generation iPad Air model. The eighth generation received an upgraded processor, now with the A12 Bionic, while keeping the same storage options: 32GB and 128GB.

In September of 2021, the ninth generation was introduced alongside a redesigned iPad mini. This iPad now features the A13 Bionic processor, True Tone support, and new storage options: 64GB and 256GB while keeping the same price.

iPad 9 Specs

The ninth-generation iPad launched in September of 2021. Available in two colors, Silver and Space Gray, this tablet is made of 100% recyclable aluminum, and supports the first-generation Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard.

With thinner bezels, the product comes with a 10.2-inch Retina display with a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating, and True Tone support for the first time, which adjusts screen content to the color temperature of a room.

This tablet uses the A13 Bionic chip, the same available on the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max. It has an “all-day” battery with up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi or watching videos.

The iPad also comes in 64GB and 256GB storage options and Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular versions.

Revamped cameras

For the first time, this iPad shares the same FaceTime camera as the M1 iPad Pro with the Center Stage experience. With a new 12MP Ultra Wide front camera and Neural Engine, users can enjoy even more engaging video calls.

As users move around, Center Stage automatically pans the camera to keep them in view. When others join in, the camera detects them too, and smoothly zooms out to include them in the conversation. Center Stage makes video calls more natural in FaceTime as well as third-party video-calling apps.

Its main camera is the same: 8MP, f/2.4 aperture, and digital zoom up to 5x.

iPadOS 15

The ninth-generation iPad comes with the iPadOS 15. Previewed during the WWDC21 keynote, the new operating system brings a redesigned Home Screen with widgets and App Library support.

On iPadOS 15, FaceTime group calls can finally appear in a grid, so it’s easier to see everyone. It’s also possible to share your screen, listen to Apple Music songs together, or watch Apple TV+, HBO Max, Disney+, and others while in a call.

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 Apple made it easier to rely on multitasking features.

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 launched on September 20. Learn more about it here.

iPadOS 15.1 features

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:

Translate

  • Mandarin Chinese (Taiwan) support in the Translate app and for system-wide translation

Home

  • New automation triggers based on the current reading of a HomeKit-enabled humidity, air quality, or light level sensor

Shortcuts

  • 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

iPadOS 15.2 features

apple-music-hey-siri-plays-voice-plan-9to5mac-2

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 but, unfortunately, Universal Control is still nowhere to be seen. 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

iPadOS 15.3 features

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 features

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.

iPadOS 15.5 features

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 15.6 features

iPadOS 15.6 is yet another small update for iPad users. Here’s what’s news:

  • TV app adds the option to restart a live sports game already in progress and pause, rewind, or fast-forward.
  • Fixes an issue where Settings may continue to display that device storage is full even if it is available.
  • Fixes an issue that may cause Braille devices to slow down or stop responding when navigating text in Mail.
  • Fixes an issue in Safari where a tab may revert to a previous page.

iPadOS 15.7 features

iPadOS 15.7 only brings bug fixes and some security improvements as the company readies the iPadOS 16 release.

Education

Apple describes this iPad as the go-to tablet for education. For several years the company discounts this tablet up to 10%.

Apple is always promoting ways students can use the iPad to learn new things: using Augmented Reality, the Apple Pencil, and how to code with Playgrounds.

The company says the “App Store is the best place to discover apps” for education purposes:

Let your curiosity run wild with iPad. The App Store is the best place to discover apps that let you get a leg up in geometry, learn a new language, and attend virtual classes. You can even use augmented reality to learn something exciting, like watching the history of spaceflight unfold in your living room or making characters from your favorite book literally leap off the page.

Release date: When Apple will launch the ninth-generation iPad?

Apple launched the iPad 9 on September 24, 2021.

Pricing

iPad (2021) pricing starts at $329 for the 32GB storage option with Wi-Fi only. The prices can go up to $559 with the 128GB storage option and WI-Fi + Cellular. Here are the full prices of the ninth-generation tablet:

  • 32GB with Wi-Fi: $329
  • 32GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $459
  • 128GB with Wi-Fi: $429
  • 128GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $559
  • Apple Pencil (1st generation): $99
  • Smart Keyboard: $159

Lower prices may be available from Apple’s official Amazon store.

iPad (2021) Review

Soon, we’ll review the ninth-generation iPad. As for now, you can watch our video review of the eighth-generation iPad, as we described it as the “best value tablet you can buy:”

“The iPad 8 was never meant to be a huge update. But even still, I think this is easily the best value tablet you can buy. For $329, this tablet has so much to offer: The performance, the great battery life, and the Apple pencil functionality. I’d highly recommend you pick up this tablet if you simply need an inexpensive tablet today that’s going to last you for three to four years with no trouble.”

iPad Deals

Over at 9to5Toys, you can find the best deals on the iPad and other Apple products. Download the 9to5Toys iPhone app to receive push notifications for new deals as well.

Rumors

As of now, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman said in his Power On newsletter by the end of 2021 that Apple plans a new entry-level iPad for 2022. In June 2022, 9to5Mac exclusively reported the details of the tenth-generation iPad model.

According to Filipe Espósito, this new entry-level tablet will pack the A14 Bionic chip, 5G compatibility, and, for the first time, USB-C connectivity, unlocking new experiences with the second-generation Apple Pencil. Its display will also increase, although it’s unclear whether it will have the same design as the M1 iPad Air.

This iPad could be released in October of 2022.

iPad Stories February 2

Along with reporting its quarterly performance, Apple shared the latest details on how many of its devices are currently active. The installed base has continued to steadily grow, pushing the company past the 2 billion device milestone while Services have hit a new revenue record.

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iPad Stories January 31

While Ming-Chi Kuo reported on Monday that a foldable iPad with a built-in kickstand could launch in 2024, that may have been a bit optimistic. Since Kuo made this claim, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman and analyst Ross Young have both said they’ve heard nothing about such a device being in the pipeline for next year…

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I recently took a quick weekend trip, and I wanted to just bring my iPad Pro and the other essentials I needed. With just my iPad and a few accessories, I was able to get all the work I needed to get done while traveling light and not sacrificing power, comfort, or breaking the bank. I wanted to shed some light on these accessories because I believe they truly are essential.

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iPad Stories January 30

After years of rumors, noted Apple analyst says that he is “positive” a folding iPad launch is happening sometime next year.

This is significantly earlier than a previous – and vaguer – prediction of a folding “notebook” of some kind in 2026 …

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iPad Stories January 29

While iOS 17 speculation is already in full swing, there is still a handful of features that Apple has announced, but not yet released for iPhone and iPad users. There are new Apple Pay and Apple Card features on the way, updates to Safari, and much more. Head below as we round up all of the previously announced features still coming for iPhone and iPad…

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iPad Stories January 27

The main new feature that arrived with iOS 16.3 and macOS 13.2 is support for physical security keys. For those that want to take security up a notch, you’ll need to pick up at least two hardware keys, but which ones to choose? Here are the security keys Apple recommends for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

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iPad Stories January 23

Apple last year introduced a new iPad Pro that is essentially the same as the previous generation model, but this time with the faster M2 chip. While rumors suggest that none of the iPad models will get massive upgrades in 2023, it seems that Apple has been working on a “major iPad Pro revamp” for 2024. But at this point, iPad Pro doesn’t need a major revamp, but better software.

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iPad Stories January 20

We’ve long been expecting a switch to OLED iPad Pro screens, with MacBook Pro models to follow, and a new supply chain report says that the project has now been made official for an Apple supplier.

It says that Apple has asked “a domestic display company” to develop the panels – almost certainly a reference to Samsung, though LG will likely be a secondary supplier …

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iPad Stories January 17

Apple’s new M2 Mac mini is a good value for a desktop computer.

$500 gives students and educators access to Apple’s best consumer processor performance and a desktop operating system. That’s vastly more affordable than $1300 iMac even after you consider the cost of a mouse, keyboard, and monitor.

But it’s not 1995 anymore. Students use laptops, not desktops. Apple hasn’t had its M2 Mac mini moment with MacBooks, and I think the iPad is the reason.

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iPad Stories January 13

Apple accessory company CharJenPro recently announced pre-orders for their new MagFlött Pro Stand for iPad Pro. They hit the scene last year with their patented MagFlött Magnetic Stand which touted a simple, yet elegant way of propping up an iPad on a magnetic stand.

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iPad Stories January 11

A Bloomberg report about Apple custom displays is leading to some interesting takes on it. Like Apple is moving into the manufacturing business, or that the company doesn’t already use custom-designed displays.

Neither of these things is true, so I think it’s worth taking a look about what the report did and didn’t say – and what the implications are likely to be …

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iPad Stories January 9

Curious how much RAM Apple has put in its different iPads or how much memory your current iPad has? While the company doesn’t publicly share the information, memory details show up in teardowns and through other sources. Follow along for a look at the full iPad RAM list for how much memory comes with every iPad model.

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iPad Stories January 5

You can’t deny that Apple makes the best iPads on earth, but does Apple make the best tablets? While also probably yes, Lenovo is teasing iPad Pro users with the tablet we want Apple to make — and they just might! Lenovo just made a 14.5-inch iPad Pro-like tablet with multiple USB-C ports and a more versatile take on the Magic Keyboard…

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Designed to pair perfectly with Mac and iPad, Satechi announced its second new product at CES this morning. The USB4 NVMe SSD Pro Enclosure will offer super-fast 40Gbps throughput in a sharp aluminum tool-free design for M.2 NVMe SSDs.

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iPad Stories December 28, 2022

After first being announced at WWDC last June, Universal Control has finally arrived with the release of iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3. Despite delays and some people questioning whether the feature might meet the same fate as AirPower, Universal Control is here and is equally as impressive as its original WWDC demo.

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iPad Stories December 26, 2022

Which iPad is Apple’s most popular for now?

CIRP is out with a new report today taking a look at iPad. Along with detailing which is the most popular of Apple’s tablets, the new data shows how often it sells cellular vs WiFi models.

iPad Stories December 24, 2022

A range of innovative new Apple accessories have launched this year and I’ve been able to put over 40 of them through their paces. From products for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and more, here are my 8 favorite Apple accessories from 2022.

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iPad Stories December 21, 2022

When Apple announced the new M2 iPad Pro in October, the company also teased that the popular professional video editor DaVinci Resolve would be coming to iPadOS. Two months later, DaVinci Resolve for iPadOS is finally available on the App Store, bringing desktop-level tools for editing videos on the iPad.

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Likely high demand for OLED iPad models is one factor in Samsung Display changing its development plans, according to a new supply chain report.

Samsung had been working on an even more advanced form of OLED panel than the type it will be making for Apple, but it has now postponed that project …

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iPad Stories December 5, 2022

As it looks to significantly reduce its reliance on China, the company is reportedly exploring moving some iPad production to India. CNBC says Apple is having “ongoing discussions with officials” about producing the iPad in India, though “no concrete plans have been made.”

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As 2022 comes to a close, it’s no surprise that it’s been a busy year for Apple with many great hardware releases. The company debuted its Dynamic Island interactive notch, some killer new Macs, an M2 iPad Pro, and John Mayer’s new favorite smartwatch – Apple Watch Ultra.

In honor of all this new hardware and more, we created the Best Apple product release of 2022 bracket that’s now live on 9to5Mac’s Twitter.

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iPad Stories December 2, 2022

Apple announced last month the 10th-generation iPad, which features a new design similar to the more expensive iPad models, plus other enhancements. However, despite all the improvements, iPad 10 lacks support for the second-generation Apple Pencil. Now iFixit has shared a teardown video showing what’s inside the iPad 10, and it gives us an idea of why the new iPad only works with the old Apple Pencil.

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iPad Stories November 30, 2022

Twelve South delivered a hit with its HoverBar Duo stand for iPad and iPhone and the evolution of the series has begun with the HoverBar Tower. I’ve been testing out the new floor stand for iPad that offers the flexibility to put the tablet in the right position for pretty much any use case.

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iPad Stories November 27, 2022

How to receive and send a fax with iPhone or iPad

As far as technology has advanced, there are still times when you might need to send or receive a fax. Whether it’s a rare or regular occurrence, fortunately, you can handle your fax needs with an app. Read on for three ways to receive and send a fax with iPhone or iPad, including two free options as well as solutions for businesses with strict privacy requirements.

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