A big iPad Pro 2024 design change may have been discovered in iOS 17.4 beta

iPad Pro 2022
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The iPad Pro 2024 is shaping up to be a sizeable upgrade, with evidence found in the iOS 17.4 beta's code by developer Steve Moser (via MacRumors) pointing to its Face ID sensors and front camera being relocated.

The text string found in the code makes the alleged change pretty obvious. It reads: "During ‌Face ID‌ setup, iPad needs to be in landscape with the camera at the top of the screen." The iPad Pro series is currently the only iPad with Face ID rather than Touch ID, so it follows that the next iPad Pro will be changing the position of its front-facing camera.

A screenshot of text from the iOS 17.4 beta mentioning Face ID on iPad being on the landscape side

(Image credit: Steve Moser/X)

Since Apple introduced Face ID to the iPad Pro in 2018, it's been positioned on the short side of the display. Moving the cameras 90 degrees around the face of the next iPad Pro would make it a little like the 10th-generation iPad, launched in 2022. This was the first iPad model to have a selfie camera on its long side.

A change Apple's been slow to adopt

iPads have been designed as portrait orientation-first devices since the beginning, which is why it made sense to place cameras on the short side of the device. However, the way tablets are used changed over time, with these devices much more commonly being used horizontally for watching video or making video calls. Other devices on our best tablets list have shifted their cameras as a result, although other than the most recent basic iPad, iPads haven't made this change yet.

The iPad family could have a big 2024, after 2023 saw no new iPad models launched at all. Not only should we be seeing new models finally launching this spring or possibly more specifically in April, but there could be other big changes on the way besides the relocated iPad Pro camera.

We could see an OLED display on the iPad Pro for the first time, another growing trend in tablet design that Apple's yet to adopt. The next few months could also introduce a new iPad Air model, possibly including a larger 12.9-inch version, alongside the Pro for an even more thorough refresh of Apple's line-up of slates.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.