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HomeTechnologyApple iPad Air and iPad Professional rumors: What to anticipate in 2022

Apple iPad Air and iPad Professional rumors: What to anticipate in 2022

Apple iPad Pro M1

The iPad Professional lineup final 12 months. It feels like this 12 months’s upgrades might have an analogous design.

Scott Stein/CNET

In 2021, Apple added an M1 processor, 5G and a Mini LED show to the iPad Professional, utterly refreshed the iPad Mini and included an auto-zooming entrance digicam know-how referred to as Heart Stage. Now, we’re anticipating extra iPad updates from Apple in 2022. 

This 12 months’s iPads might not be a radical change from the 2021 variations, based on stories and rumors thus far. However one neglected iPad mannequin may lastly see an replace: the iPad Air, which was certainly one of our favourite iPads from 2020 however bought no replace in any respect in 2021. We might even see the iPad Air arrive in early March alongside the iPhone SE 3, if rumors are to be believed. 

Apple updates its tablets twice a 12 months, or a minimum of that is the way it’s labored over the previous couple of years. The iPad Professional arrived within the spring, whereas the primary iPad, iPad Mini and iPad Air updates arrived within the fall. That cycle may shift once more this 12 months — it is all the time arduous to inform with Apple. However this could assist your purchasing plans a bit. Within the meantime, listed below are some tips for selecting between the present iPads.


The 2021 iPad Mini (left) already has plenty of the design of the 2020 iPad Air (proper). However the Air may get a few of the Mini’s options.

Scott Stein/CNET

iPad Air: Like a bigger iPad Mini?

Studies recommend the Air, which has all the time functioned like a funds model of the iPad Professional, may see updates but once more. The Air ought to lastly get elective 5G just like the Professional and Mini, though take into account that the Professional’s 5G bands had been extra in depth than the Mini’s. Might the Air get an M1 chip as nicely, or would it not get one thing extra just like the iPhone 13’s A15 processor, which can also be within the 2021 iPad Mini? The A15 appears extra doubtless, particularly if the intention for the Air is to be extra reasonably priced.

The Air must also get the one function it now lacks in contrast with all different 2021 iPads: that autozooming, wider-angle front-facing Heart Stage digicam. However that additionally means the Air may mainly find yourself being a bigger model of final 12 months’s iPad Mini, simply launched half a 12 months later. If the value finally ends up being much more affordable than the iPad Professional, it may find yourself being the go-to decide for lots of people.

Apple iPad Pro M1

Each iPad Professional fashions may get Mini LED shows this 12 months, together with quicker processors and… possibly MagSafe?

Scott Stein/CNET

iPad Professional: Extra Mini LED, and probably MagSafe

A brand new iPad Professional ought to arrive within the spring, if the sample from 2020 and 2021 holds up. The earlier iPad Professional earlier than that, which added Face ID and USB-C, arrived within the fall of 2018.

Some rumors level to the Professional tablets including MagSafe, which has popped up in Apple’s latest MacBook ProfessionalsiMacs and iPhones. The one bizarre factor about MagSafe thus far is that each occasion has concerned a unique kind of charger. Would Apple make the iPad Professional MagSafe one other distinctive accent but once more, separate from the iPhone and MacBook variations? That might be… annoying.

However it may not even occur. Whereas a 2021 report from Mark Gurman at Bloomberg pointed to a glass-backed iPad Professional for MagSafe charging, lately it has been urged that possibly the tech will not arrive this 12 months in any case. Leaker @Dylandkt on Twitter additionally suggests the brand new iPad Professional might not provide MagSafe charging. Personally, I do not care a lot. iPads are likely to have sturdy battery life, and charging with USB-C is not an enormous deal. iPads can already cost up a bit by way of instances that use Sensible Connector ports, though Sensible Connector-compatible equipment stay few and much between. Perhaps a return of MagSafe branding would imply an enlargement of equipment to handle the Sensible Connector’s shortcomings, although.

The 12.9-inch 2021 iPad Professional was the one mannequin to have a step-up Mini LED show, just like the latest MacBook Professionals, providing deeper blacks and extra dynamic distinction. The 11-inch mannequin this 12 months may lastly get Mini LED, too.

In relation to display dimension, a bigger show for the iPad Professional should be just a few years away. A report from MacRumors means that two of Apple’s suppliers are making ready OLED shows in bigger sizes (as much as 15-inches) for future iPad fashions. Nonetheless, these larger Professional tablets aren’t anticipated to reach till 2023 or 2024. 

What a few chip improve? I already really feel just like the M1 within the iPad Professional vastly outperforms the software program; I might relatively see iPadOS evolve to help exterior displays higher, and add much more multitasking flexibility. Nonetheless, if a brand new iPad Professional debuts alongside a brand new MacBook Air this spring, possibly they’d each share a brand new M2 chip. It is unclear, although, when a reportedly redesigned new MacBook Air will arrive.

Lastly, battery life: To me, iPads are nice. However the iPad Professional’s extra power-intensive nature, and its keyboard instances, may imply a helpful battery improve is within the works. The MacBook Air now outperforms the iPad in battery efficiency, and possibly in 2022 the iPad Professional may catch up.


I nonetheless discover my face seems to be off-center on iPad video calls. It is the digicam placement, though Heart Stage helps a bit.

Scott Stein/CNET

Will iPads lastly repair the digicam placement, although?

My greatest iPad request, moreover revamping the OS way more to make it a greater Mac different, is fixing the entrance digicam placement. Zoom conferences on iPads in panorama mode (which is how they principally orient themselves for those who use any form of keyboard case) have their digicam off to the facet. Whereas Apple’s zoom-in Heart Stage digicam tech helps a bit, it would not handle eye contact points: I often appear to be I am staring off into house throughout my iPad Zooms. I might love a digicam change to the longer edge, however who is aware of if that is within the playing cards this 12 months.

For extra about what we count on from Apple in 2022, check out CNET’s iPhone SE 3, iPhone 14 and Mac Professional rumor roundups



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