Weird choices Apple is making for new iPads


Apple now has a second iPad in the lineup that simply goes by the name iPad. The new iPad 10 stands out for a few reasons, most of which have to do with how it compares to the rest of the iPad family.

2022 iPad lineup

Introducing the iPad 10 and keeping the iPad 9 around means the 2022 iPad lineup has even more options, including:

  • $329 iPad 9, 10.2-inch (Touch ID Home button/Lightning)
  • $449 iPad 10, 10.9-inch (Touch ID power button/USB-C) NEW
  • $499 iPad mini 6, 8.3-inch (Touch ID power button/USB-C)
  • $599 iPad Air 5 10.9-inch (Touch ID power button/USB-C)
  • $799 iPad Pro, 11-inch (Face ID/Thunderbolt) NEW
  • $1099 iPad Pro, 12.9-inch (Face ID/Thunderbolt) NEW

We knew bringing the modern iPad design to the base iPad would be expensive.

FaceTime camera

iPad users have been asking for a horizontal front-facing camera since… *checks notes*… the iPad 2. Eleven years later, Apple has heard that feedback and delivered! Well, for iPad 10 customers at least.

Weird choices Apple is making for new iPads

Apple also revised the iPad Pro models today, but pro customers will have to continue using a portrait camera turned sideways. The reason for this is probably because the iPad 10 is technically a new design, and Apple decided not to retool the iPad Pro production line for a logically placed webcam.

Apple Pencil predicament

Every flat-sided iPad introduced since 2018 works with the second-generation Apple Pencil, but not the iPad 10. Apple is sticking to first-gen Apple Pencil support because cost? Camera placement? Who knows.

The problem is that the iPad 10 drops the Lightning port for a USB-C port (good), but the first-gen Apple Pencil pairs and charges with Lightning port (bad). This is a mismatch no one should have had to predict, and one that Apple certainly shouldn’t have delivered. Enter the new dongle.

Long live whatever this is

Keeping the iPad 9 around means Apple probably didn’t plan to retire the original Apple Pencil anyway, but pairing it awkwardly with the iPad 10 hurts to see.

Keyboards

Apple has a new keyboard/trackpad accessory for the iPad 10. The Magic Keyboard Folio is a two-piece solution for with a proper function row, which includes proper keys for Siri, emoji, and even an escape key. This is new territory for an iPad keyboard from Apple.

The two part approach also lets you prop up the iPad 10 for watching movies or having video calls with the correct orientation camera without needing the keyboard/trackpad half.

That viewing angle looks awfully adjustable

Why didn’t Apple update the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro with those professional function keys? Apple hasn’t been shy about updating iPad keyboard accessories for minor things like camera bump cutouts.

Random aside: Apple now makes Smart Cover, Smart Keyboard, Smart Keyboard Folio, Smart Folio, Magic Keyboard, and Magic Keyboard Folio for iPad. Am I forgetting any combination of smart/magic/keyboard/folio?

That function row is key

More

Filed under “too bad,” Apple did not make an iPad Pro in fingerprint-magnet Midnight, which probably means MacBook Pros will also stay boring and stick with Silver and Space Gray. Fingerprints or not, the near black shade of blue screams pro and cool way more than the darker-shade-of-silver Space Gray.

There are also no new accessories for the iPad Pro, although a new docking system thing sounds slated for 2023. Perhaps the biggest disappointing and weird choice with the iPad Pro is not bringing the superior mini LED technology from the big iPad Pro to the small iPad Pro. That was understandable before, but more recently it felt like the reason to update the 11-inch Pro.

Differences in the 10.9-inch iPad, 10.9-inch Air, and 11-inch Pro features are as significant as the price, but a “pro” screen would certainly help sell the $800 Pro.

What are your thoughts on today’s iPadapalooza? Let us know in the comments!

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