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Four things Apple killed this week after its 'Let Loose' event

Apple showcased new iPad upgrades at its 'Let Loose' hardware event earlier this week after skipping a new lineup in 2023. The Cupertino giant also raised the curtain on the freshly baked M4 chip, which now powers the 11-inch and 13-inch iPad Pro. The iPad Air (now heavier than the Pro) has been refreshed with the M2 chip and comes in a 13-inch variant.

Apple's upgraded stylus Pencil Pro is packed with sensors and gestures and there is a new official camera app called Final Cut Camera scheduled for a launch later this year. Not to mention, there was criticism around Apple's iPad Pro ad that made the company come forward and apologize publicly.

However, Apple also pulled the plug on a few things during the 'Let Loose event'. Let's have a look at the stuff that is not available on iPads anymore:

The Home button

9th Generation iPad
Source: Apple

It is typical for Apple, or any other company, to discontinue older generation products when fresh ones arrive on the market. Apple's iPad refresh showed the 9th Generation iPad the way to the exit door this week.

It was a 10.2-inch tablet representing Apple's budget segment since 2021. What makes its departure significant is the 9th Generation iPad was the last model to continue the legacy of the original iPad design and the Home button.

The Home button was first introduced with the original iPhone in 2007 before making its way to the bigger screen, where its job was pretty much the same. It was a circular button with a square icon at the bottom of the device. Apple continued to improve the Home button's design and functionality over the years.

The company made the button more useful by adding Touch ID fingerprint recognition. Users could press the Home button once to go to the Home screen and double-press to open the app switcher, among various features.

However, it found no use on newer iPhones and iPads that replaced Touch ID with Face ID and much of the Home button's functionality with gesture navigation.

With the iPad, Apple started putting nails in the Home button's coffin in 2018 when it introduced the 3rd Generation iPad Pro. Its updated design didn't include any buttons on the front and added curves to the corners of its display.

Apple logo stickers

Apple has started phasing out the iconic stickers it has shipped with its products virtually forever. 9to5Mac, citing a memo supplied to Apple Stores, reports that retail boxes for the new iPad Air and iPad Pro won't include the Apple logo stickers.

The change marks the end of an era. Why? Apple Stickers have been there for over four decades, and their existence dates as early as the launch of Apple II in 1977. Back in the day, Apple used to ship rainbow-colored stickers with "Apple Computer" written at the bottom.

Apple is eliminating the stickers to make its packaging completely plastic-free and reach its environmental goals. For the desperate eyes, however, Apple will allow its store employees to give stickers to the buyers upon request. The stickers may not be available at other retailers such as Amazon or Best Buy, as per the report.

The dinosaur, again

Apple iPad connected to headphones
Source: JuanMarcelFrancia/Pixabay

Apple faced backlash when it discontinued the iPhone's 3.5mm headphone jack in 2016. At the time, Apple VP Greg Joswiak defended the controversial decision by comparing the audio jack to a dinosaur.

"The audio connector is more than 100 years old. It had its last big innovation about 50 years ago. You know what that was? They made it smaller. It hasn’t been touched since then. It’s a dinosaur. It’s time to move on,” Joswiak told Buzzfeed News.

While Apple wanted extra room inside the iPhone to add more stuff, many people were unhappy with the decision. Note that 2016 was also the year when Apple introduced its wireless earbuds AirPods.

Apple has done it again with the discontinuation of the 9th Gen iPad, although, it was something waiting to happen sooner or later. None of the current iPad models featured on Apple's website include an audio jack anymore. If you have a wired headphone lying around, the USB-C to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter is your workaround.

The Lightning connector

Another piece of hardware you won't find on the current iPad lineup anymore is the Lightning connector, which was the default connector for years, including the 9th Generation iPad. Its removal from the iPad lineup is part of the ongoing process, where Apple is replacing its proprietary connector with USB-C (others are doing it too).

USB-C connector universal on 2024 iPad lineup

The European Union passed a new regulation forcing Apple to adopt USB-C as the common charging port. Since then, Apple has updated its iPhone 15 lineup with USB-C and several other products such as the AirPods Pro 2.

Lightning's history dates back to 2012 when the iPhone-maker replaced the legacy 30-pin connector with a new reversible one. Although there was an adapter for backward compatibility, Apple faced backlash because the new connector made life harder for people with accessories such as docks, speakers, and more.

Let us know in the comments, what you think about the new iPads.

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