Snippets of code found in the iOS 12.1 betas indicated an October 2018 release for new iPad Pro models. Now, sources familiar with the matter have revealed to 9to5Mac that the upcoming iPad Pros will prove to be quite the dramatic upgrade over their predecessors.
For starters, iPad8,1, iPad8,2, iPad8,5 and iPad8,6 are the model codes for the WiFi-only variants of the device. The cellular-capable models, on the other hand, are called iPad8,3, iPad8,4, iPad8,7 and iPad8,8. This indicates that there will be two size options for the device, with two WiFi and two cellular models each.
The devices will reportedly sport edge-to-edge displays with no home button in sight, much like the iPhone X family of devices. There will, however, be no notch; the bezels will be wide enough to house the Face ID sensors.
Face ID orientations
Face ID will (to the relief of many) will be supported in both portrait and landscape orientations. The sensor will be the same as the updated one found in this year's crop of iPhones.
Interestingly, though the setup process for Face ID will be similar to the current one found on iPhones, there will be an additional step to configure this in portrait mode. It's not clear if this involves different hardware, or if it's simply a software tweak that could possibly find its way over to the iPhones for landscape unlock support.
External displays + USB Type-C port
Given the new crop of iPad Pros will reportedly come with a USB Type-C port, the devices will also come with support for 4K HDR-enabled external displays through it. A number of new options in the Settings app will allow for resolution and brightness control, among others.
New Apple Pencil
An alleged new Apple Pencil will accompany these devices. The only current known difference between it and its predecessor is that - much like the AirPods - the new one will pair with devices via proximity, instead of having to be plugged into the device's port. This may make it easier to switch between iPads with a single Pencil.
The new iPad Pros will come with new I/O in the form of a magnetic connector on the back of the device, allowing it to interface with accessories.
As of now, that's all the news there is to be had about the iPad Pro refreshes. But given the devices are expected to be announced sometime later this month, the wait for their official reveal is likely to be a short one.