Among the iPad Pro 2022 rumors I've heard recently, the alleged addition of wireless charging is perhaps the most interesting. It's also one I have a lot of ideas about in terms of how it should work.
I've tried wireless charging out on a tablet once before, on the Huawei MatePad Pro, so Apple wouldn't exactly be breaking new ground here. However, with the iPad Pro and Apple's MagSafe wireless charging system already being well-established products, I think Apple should avoid implementing it in certain ways.
Below are my five reasonable demands for a wirelessly charging iPad. Although I recently upgraded my iPad and won't be replacing it for some time, I'll still be watching with interest when the next iPad Pro is revealed, to see if wireless charging is indeed included — and if it works like I hope.
Don't change the iPad's materials
Wireless charging generally requires a device to be made of glass in order for inductive charging to work. The iPad family all have metal backs, and I don't like the idea that Apple would introduce an all-glass construction, given how fragile iPad Pros have already proven to be.
Fortunately, the rumors say Apple may have found a workaround by placing a large, glass logo in the center of the iPad's back in which the wireless charging coil would sit. Some sources say Apple's engineers are struggling to make this work, but, if that's true, I hope they figure something out. Without it, I'm not sure how Apple could practically make a wirelessly charged iPad Pro without seriously beefing up the thickness and toughness of the frame, and in the process spoiling the device's appealingly slim design.
Don't worry about MagSafe
If Apple were to introduce wireless charging on the iPad Pro, it seems possible that it would be in the form of MagSafe, maybe even the same 15W MagSafe available on iPhones. However, as obvious as this approach would be, I don't think it's something the iPad Pro needs.
MagSafe is as much about adding extra accessories such as cases, wallets and more to the iPhone as it is about charging. While I'm sure the enterprising companies which specialize in Apple peripherals could come up with a way to make use of a MagSafe attachment on an iPad, it would be an unnecessary addition, as it was on the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro.
Keep the port
If wireless charging does become a reality on a future iPad Pro, Apple should resist the urge to make it portless. This is the approach rumored for the iPhone in the near future, and that seems fair enough for a smartphone. However, the iPad really needs to stick with USB-C.
It's very handy to have the option to attach external drives and other peripherals to your iPad for those times when you want to do some serious work. And, with Apple getting serious about multi-tasking via iPadOS 16's Stage Manager ability, that's now more of a possibility than ever. We already saw how things played out when Apple removed a bunch of ports from the MacBook Pro (spoiler: everything got added back on the MacBook Pro 2021), so Apple should avoid making the same unpopular mistake again.
Add reverse wireless charging at the same time
The wireless charging rumors sometimes tease the possibility that Apple is also testing reverse wireless charging for the iPad Pro, so it could share some of its battery reserves with other devices. I really don't like the idea that you'd have to keep your iPad face-down in order to make it work, but fortunately, that's something you can easily sort out with the right iPad case
This is a particularly important feature to add, though, and it again concerns the idea that the iPad is increasingly being positioned as a primary device, rather than it being secondary to a desktop or laptop computer. Giving it the power to charge your AirPods or iPhone, while still being plugged into a display, would be just the kind of extra skill that would make it a genuine contender in the lightweight work set-up stakes.
Make it the in-box charger
This is probably my least likely request to be heard (in the unlikely event that Apple's actually reading this), but I'm making it anyway.
Unlike the iPhone, iPads still ship with in-box chargers, so the idea that Apple might include a wireless charging puck in the box isn't out of the question. Considering it costs about $800 for a basic iPad Pro, it's really the least Apple could do in terms of bundled accessories.
I would actually take a charging puck over the standard charging brick if Apple didn't feel generous enough to provide both. As Apple often says, most people are already drowning in USB chargers, so why not skip that and include the all-new wireless charger? Go on Apple, you know we'll love you for it.