The company has unveiled new tablets that can be used as a laptop with its new keyboard. It has also launched a new model of MacBook Air.
Apple today announced a new generation of iPad Pro, its most advanced tablet, with features that bring it closer to a conventional computer. The most important is that the keyboard case -an optional accessory- now includes a trackpad to move a cursor on the screen and backlit keys with which it is possible to tilt the screen at any angle.
The new iPad Pro also adds a wide-angle camera, like the latest iPhones and a LiDAR, a sensor specialized in capturing the distance of the different objects present in the camera scene. Thanks to this new sensor, Apple will be able to make more accurate measurements, better detect people in portrait mode and offer much more stable augmented reality experiences.
The new iPad Pro is available to order from today but it can only be purchased online outside of China at the moment, since the coronavirus epidemic has forced the company to close all its stores outside the Asian country until, at the latest, the end of this month.
The new trackpad
The new version of the operating system, iPadOS 13.4, will offer the iPad Pro (also the previous generation) compatibility with the trackpad. It won’t be exactly the same as the Mac experience: when the user moves their finger across the touchpad, the pointer transforms to highlight the elements of the user interface, and there are various multi-touch gestures with which to access system functions. Although the new tablet can be ordered now, the new keyboard with trackpad will not be available until May.
“We’ve come up with the best way to integrate trackpad usage into a touch environment while preserving everything our customers know and love about iPad,” says Craig Federighi, Apple’s vice president of Software Engineering. Most third-party applications will work without having to make any changes, but apple has also created a set of APIs (system anchors for advanced functions) that developers can use to give more functionality to their apps.
Apple has updated its office suite for this new release to support new features.
The iPad Pro also equips a new processor, the A12Z Bionic chip, with a GPU and an eight-core CPU. Based on performance tests of previous chips in the range, it is likely to come close to and outperform many of the conventional laptops on sale today. Apple claims that the battery lasts up to 10 hours and has also improved WiFi and support for LTE networks. Does not offer 5G support.
The tablet will continue to be offered in two sizes, 11 and 12.9 inches, respectively. Amabas have a refresh rate of 120 Hz and an anti-reflective coating. The camera system has also changed. Now it has a 12Mpx camera with 4K video and a 10MP wide-angle camera similar to the one that accompanies the latest generation iPhone phones. Apple has also added five microphones with higher audio quality that work in any orientation of the screen in stereo mode.
The new LiDAR sensor, integrated in the camera module, measures the distance to objects at a distance of up to 5 meters and works both indoors and outdoors. Combining the depth points measured by the LiDAR scanner, camera data and motion sensors, and supported by vision algorithms will allow you to create much more advanced augmented reality experiences on the iPad Pro. Various medical or decoration apps, as well as games , will take advantage of this new system and will arrive throughout the year.
The new iPad Pro will be available later this month at a price of 899 euros for the 11-inch model and 1,099 euros for the 12.9-inch model. The keyboard can be purchased for 399 euros.
New Macbook Air
In addition to the new iPad Pro, Apple has also launched a new generation of its Macbook Air computers, which stands out for incorporating the new keyboard design, less prone to errors than those that the company’s computers have incorporated in recent years.
The new computer is twice as powerful thanks to new Intel processors, maintains the retina display and is made of 100% recycled aluminum. Apple has improved the quality of the speakers, now 25% more powerful, and the integrated microphones.
The new Macbook Air is available from today and its price has been lowered a bit compared to the previous model. The basic configuration starts at 1,199 euros, VAT included.