Apple made a number of changes to its iPads last year, from giving the iPad Mini a complete overhaul to equipping the iPad Pro with 5G and an M1 chip. Rumors indicate that even more updates are coming in 2022, and one may be as close as next month.
This year’s iPads may not be a radical change from the 2021 versions, based on reports and rumors so far. But an overlooked iPad model has finally gotten an update: the iPad Air, which was voted one of the favorite iPads of 2020 by users, even though it didn’t receive any updates throughout all of 2021. iPad Air arrive in early March along with the iPhone SE 3, if the rumors are confirmed.
New updates, new features
Apple updates its tablets twice a year, or at least it has been doing so for the last two years. The iPad Pro arrived in the spring, while the basic updates to the iPad, iPad Mini, and iPad Air arrived in the fall. That cycle could change again this year; it’s always hard to tell with Apple. But this should help your shopping plans a bit.
iPad Air: Do you like a bigger iPad Mini?
Reports suggest that the Air, which has always served as a cheaper version of the iPad Pro, could be getting updates once again. The Air should eventually be able to operate on 5G networks as an option, like the Pro and Mini, though keep in mind that the Pro’s 5G bands were more extensive than the Mini’s. Could the Air have an M1 chip too, or would it have something more like the iPhone 13’s A15 processor, which is also in the 2021 iPad Mini? The A15 seems more likely, especially if the Air’s goal is to be more affordable financially.
The Air should also possess the one feature it’s now missing compared to all other 2021 iPads: that wider-angle, auto-zoom front-facing Center Stage camera. But that also means the Air could basically end up being a bigger version of last year’s iPad Mini, which launched six months later. If the price ends up being much more reasonable than the iPad Pro, it could end up being the preferred choice for many people.
iPad Pro: more Mini LED and possibly MagSafe
A new iPad Pro should arrive in the next few months, before the end of spring, if the pattern of 2020 and 2021 holds. The iPad Pro before that, which included Face ID and USB-C, launched in the fall 2018. Some rumors suggest that Pro tablets will add MagSafe technology, which appeared in the latest Apple MacBook Pro, iMac, and iPhone. The only weird thing about MagSafe so far is that each instance has involved a different type of charger.