The next iPad Pros could be a lot larger, making them more likely MacBook replacements, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.
Gurman's reported that his sources said Apple's designers and engineers are exploring the development of larger iPads. However, these aren't tipped to arrive next year, as Apple is expected to focus on redesigning the current iPad Pro for 2022. So if these larger iPads do come to fruition, they won't arrive until 2023 at the earliest, going by Gurman's report.
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The largest iPad (the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2021) is effectively the same size as the smallest MacBook screen right now, which sits at 13.3 inches. While such larger iPads might be “a couple of years down the road," according to Gurman, they would look to narrow the gap between tablets and MacBooks.
That would be especially true if Apple targeted iPad displays of 14-inch and 16-inch sizes, which the rumored redesigned MacBook Pros are expected to have.
Larger displays would also seem somewhat logical when you consider all the work Apple has done to make the iPad a solid alternative to the laptop. The latest iPad Pros come with the same Apple M1 chip as the new MacBooks, while iPadOS 15 introduces welcome new features for multitasking.
With iPadOS 15, there's a new Multitasking menu that makes it easier to work on multiple apps at once. And there's a new app shelf for view all the open windows for an app and quickly switching between them. You can also touch and hold to bring a note or message to the center of the screen without leaving your current view.
However, Gurman pointed out that the iPad Pro still has a way to go from a software point of view, noting iPadOS is still missing Mac apps, and the same sort of flexible app windows you’d get when using macOS.
Plus there are some key differences. The iPad is a tablet first, after all, and requires you to purchase a separate keyboard (and possibly mouse) before you can really use it as a proper laptop alternative. Likewise, the iPad has a touchscreen, which is something MacBooks have long lacked — even as every other laptop manufacturer has embraced touch on Windows machines.
Still, if you’re one of those people that prefers the versatility of using an iPad for your work, this is exciting news. It’s just a shame we’re going to have to wait a while before Apple could make it a reality.
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