New iPad Pro 2021 leak just revealed Magic Keyboard upgrade

iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey/Tom's Guide)

A newly published design patent reveals that Apple may be set to introduce a 2nd Gen Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro 2021. It will aim to improve the excellent (but pricey) iPad Pro Magic Keyboard.

This news comes to us from the folks at Patently Apple, which points to five recently granted design patents for Apple's iPad Pro. And while the patents don't look too different, previous rumors give reason to believe there may be new tech under the hood. 

If Apple's trying to patent a new Magic Keyboard, there's reason to think it will include new features. There could be a materials change, towards something that attracts less fingerprints or feels more high end (the Magic Keyboard costs up to $329).

Patently Apple notes that "Apple filed all five design patents under Locarno Classifications 14-01, 02 and 03," and then goes onto reveal what each of those classifications refer to. 

While 02 and 03 are somewhat boring, "data processing equipment as well as peripheral apparatus and devices" and "telecommunications equipment, wireless remote controls & radio amplifiers," respectively, the first patent — if not referring to the a new iPad Pro itself — is intriguing.

Locarno Classification 14-01 is for "equipment for the recording or reproduction of sounds and pictures" and a May 2020 report from the site referred to the use of microphones in the keyboard. That report even suggested the microphones could be used for controlling your iPad Pro, so that the device could interpret when your fingers hit the keyboard or your desk.

As is usually the case with patent news, it's hard to say that these works in progress will translate to actual final results. Companies often apply for patents to block rivals from making a similar product, even when they have no intent to make such a device.

We'll keep our eyes glued on upcoming iPad Pro news, as well as any rumored changes to the excellent Magic Keyboard, so stay tuned to find out what happens next.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.