Continue reading Upcoming Apple Products Guide: Everything We Expect to See in 2020 and Beyond
Apple announces new iPad Pro with trackpad support and a wild keyboard cover
Apple is announcing a new iPad Pro, available online for either $799 or $949 for 128GB Wi-Fi configurations, depending on the size. They’re available to order online now, and Apple says they will ship on March 25th.
Both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes look identical to last year’s models, but there’s a new processor and new camera system inside them both. Apple’s headline feature is that it has a LIDAR scanner to go along with its camera for depth sensing and AR, but what most people are going to notice is that very new keyboard that you can get with it.
The keyboard unfolds and elevates the iPad to a more comfortable viewing position, as you can see above. It also has a trackpad on it. Apple says, “Rather than copying the experience from macOS®, trackpad support has been completely reimagined for iPad. As users move their finger across the trackpad, the pointer elegantly transforms to highlight user interface elements.” You can see very brief examples of it in use in the video below.
Apple is calling it a “Magic Keyboard,” matching the branding it recently used on the redesigned and improved MacBook keyboard. It is backlit, supports USB-C passthrough charging, and has a “smooth angle adjustment.” Unfortunately, it won’t be available until May, but it will be compatible with last year’s iPad Pros as well. And speaking of “unfortunately,” it will cost a whopping $299 for the 11-inch model and $349 for the 12.9-inch version.
As for the iPad Pro itself, Apple has historically had a lot of extra power in the processor, and that appears to be no different this time. Apple calls it the “A12Z Bionic Chip,” with eight cores in the GPU, and Apple isn’t shy about saying that it is “more powerful than most Windows PC laptops.” The company also made a twee ad for it along the lines of its classic “What’s a computer” ad. Battery life is estimated at 10 hours, and it supports gigabit LTE but not 5G.
The three-camera array may look exactly like the three cameras on the iPhone 11 Pro, but on the iPad Pro, it’s a different setup. There’s a regular wide-angle and an ultrawide, but the third sensor is LIDAR, which uses lasers for depth-sensing and augmented reality.
We’ve been expecting a triple-camera system for the iPad Pro for some time now, given the many leaks and rumors about it and its presumed support for more advanced AR features. There have also been plenty of rumors about support for a trackpad on Apple’s Smart Keyboard, something many feel is sorely lacking right now on iPadOS.
The iPad Pro was also due. Apple has historically released a new one every 500 days or so, and, according to MacRumors, it’s been just over 500. The regular, low-end iPad has been updated more recently, and there’s also the iPad Air sitting in the middle. It’s a somewhat confusing product lineup for the iPad, historically speaking.
The new iPad Pro and the also-announced MacBook Air are just two of the many Apple products that rumors suggest are coming in 2020 — if not the first half of the year. There’s a supposed iPhone 9 (or iPhone SE 2, depending on what name you think is most likely), AirTag tracking tags, a revision of the Apple TV, more MacBooks with Mini-LED displays, and more — and that’s setting aside sure bets like new iPhones in the fall.
How (or even whether) Apple intends to announce those products during the pandemic is anybody’s guess. WWDC has converted to an online-only affair, and it’s impossible for anybody to say when it might be a good idea to schedule a large press briefing. We may just end up seeing more press releases like this one sprung on us in the mornings.
The iPads are available in silver and gray, with 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB storage options. A fully maxed-out 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 1TB of storage and LTE support costs $1,649. Toss in a Magic Keyboard at $349, and you’re spending $1,998.
2020 iPad Pro case leaks show new square camera bump similar to iPhone 11
As we continue to hear rumors that a new iPad Pro revision is coming in the spring, Ben Geskin shared photos of supposed cases for the new hardware. Mirroring CAD leaks from the end of the year, the eye is naturally drawn to the new square hole for the expected new 3D-sensing iPad Pro camera system.
Based on the case photos, the iPad Pro bump will be very similar to what we’ve seen in the iPhone 11 Pro.
The new iPad Pro is expected to feature a triple-lens camera module. Whereas the iPhone 11 Pro has a telephoto, wide, and ultra-wide camera array, it is believed that one of the three lenses on the new iPad Pro will be a 3D-depth time-of-flight sensor.
The expected time-of-flight sensor is similar to the front-facing TrueDepth camera, which uses Infrared light to create a 3D representation of your face for Face ID. The big difference is this 3D sensor would be back-facing, able to detect depth about 8-10 feet away from the iPad.
2020 iPad Pro case pic.twitter.com/KblaE2M6Kt— Ben Geskin (@BenGeskin) February 24, 2020
Although Apple’s intended use cases for the technology are still somewhat unclear, it is expected to be able to enable new augmented reality applications — and perhaps bring high-fidelity Portrait mode to the iPad camera for the first time.
The latest rumors indicate that the new time-of-flight sensor will debut first on the iPad Pro in the spring, as well as being a premier feature of the high-end iPhone 12 in the fall.
New Chrome feature will change the way you switch between desktop and mobile
A new feature for Google Chrome has arrived that makes it easier to switch between browsing on desktop and mobile devices. The shared clipboard is a new tool that allows you to copy content from a computer and then paste it on an Android phone or tablet.
This means there’s no need to send yourself an emails, or load a note-taking app like Evernote for sharing short snippets of text like addresses between devices.
As Techdows notes, the feature is enabled by default in the Android version of Chrome, so it’s just the desktop version you have to tinker with.
Enable clipboard sharing
The shared clipboard is currently only available in beta versions of Chrome for desktop, so start by installing Chrome Canary on your computer (it’s available for Windows, Linux, macOS and Chrome OS).
Next, make sure you have Chrome installed on your Android phone, and ensure that you’re logged into both browsers using the same Google account. Then follow these steps:
- Pay a visit to chrome://flags.
- Search for clipboard.
- Set ‘Enable receiver device to handle shared clipboard feature’ to ‘Enabled’.
- Set ‘Enable shared clipboard feature signals to be handled’ to ‘Enabled’.
- Set ‘Sync clipboard services’ to ‘Enabled’.
- Restart Chrome.
Now, highlight some text in the desktop version of Chrome, right click and select the ‘Copy to [Android device]’ option. The copied text will be sent to your phone – confirmed by a notification that pops up on your handset – ready for you to paste into Chrome there.
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How to watch Microsoft’s 2019 Surface event
Microsoft broke new ground when it introduced its touchscreen Surface tablet / laptop hybrid back in 2012, and it hasn’t stopped since. This year, the company seems to be pulling out all the stops: its event at the Starrett-Lehigh Building in New York City looks like it will introduce some major innovations.
Why tune in? Because you can probably expect to see new products and interesting device refreshes for the Surface line. These may include a Surface laptop powered by Qualcomm’s new ARM chip and one that offers dual-screen capabilities. There are also rumors about a new speaker and a consumer version of Teams, Microsoft’s answer to Slack.
Whatever the company plans to announce, we’ll be covering it. You can follow the event via the live stream, and enjoy our live blog where The Verge’s writers will keep things lively with their observations and opinions. It’s all happening today, October 2nd, starting at 10AM ET / 7AM PT. Here are the details:
WHEN AND WHERE TO WATCH:
Start time: New York: 10AM / San Francisco: 7AM / London: 3PM / Berlin: 4PM / Moscow: 5PM / New Delhi: 7:30PM / Beijing: 10PM / Tokyo: 11PM / Melbourne: 12AM (October 3rd)
Live stream: Microsoft is live-streaming the event on its website for desktop viewing.
What to expect from Microsoft’s Surface hardware event
Microsoft is holding a big Surface hardware event in New York City on Wednesday, October 2nd. The company has been teasing this event continually on Twitter, and is even inviting Surface fans to attend. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will be in attendance, alongside Surface chief Panos Panay. It seems like we’re on the cusp on a significant event, perhaps as big or bigger than the Surface 2015 event when the Surface Book, Microsoft Band 2, Surface Pro 4, and three Lumia phones were introduced.
There haven’t been any major leaks about what we might see on Wednesday, but rumors suggest we’ll see some refreshes of popular devices like the Surface Pro and Surface Laptop, alongside a new mysterious ARM-powered Surface. The most significant part of the day could be Microsoft ushering in its dual-screen plans for Surface and beyond, and a new Windows variant to make those plans a reality. Let’s explore what we’re likely, and unlikely, to see on Wednesday.
SURFACE PRO 7
Microsoft refreshed the Surface Pro lineup with the sixth edition last year in a new black matte finish, but crucially without USB-C connectivity. We’re expecting to see the Surface Pro 7 arrive on Wednesday, complete with USB-C support. How Microsoft adds USB-C to its Surface Pro 7 isn’t exactly clear, but we’re hoping the company simply replaces the Mini DisplayPort with USB-C at the minimum and keeps a USB-A port for compatibility. Patents from earlier this year suggested that we might even see some type of new Surface Type Cover with a future Surface Pro.
Outside of USB-C, it’s highly likely the Surface Pro 7 will include Intel’s latest 10th Gen processors, and perhaps even some new color options (according to rumors). There could even be a new Surface Pen with wireless charging, as a recent FCC filing revealed a new stylus is on the way.
Microsoft has been rumored to be working on an ARM-powered Surface for months now, and it’s likely we’ll see the unveiling on Wednesday. Unlike previous Surfaces with Nvidia Tegra ARM chips inside (Surface RT, Surface 2), Microsoft is rumored to be working with Qualcomm on this particular Surface. That means the device will likely be powered by Qualcomm’s latest 8cx chip, which was first unveiled nearly a year ago.
We haven’t seen many ARM-powered Windows laptops throughout 2019, but Samsung surprised us with its new Galaxy Book S recently and a promise of 23 hours of battery life. If Microsoft creates a Qualcomm-powered Surface then it could be the push that other OEMs need to take this type of device seriously. Windows on ARM still lags behind regular Windows 10, thanks to some app compatibility and generally poor performance from previous Qualcomm chips, but the Snapdragon 8cx could change things.
Little details have leaked about Microsoft’s Surface ARM plans, and it’s not really clear what type of device we’ll see this processor in. Microsoft leaker WalkingCat has revealed that Microsoft could introduce a “Surface Pro with thinner bezel and LTE,” hinting that this might be the ARM-powered device that has been rumored. LTE is a natural byproduct of using Qualcomm’s chips, and you’d expect a different design to the traditional Surface Pro. If the rumors are accurate, then it would be surprising to see Microsoft use the “Surface Pro” moniker on an ARM-powered device.
SURFACE LAPTOP 3
Microsoft looks set to launch new Surface Laptop 3 models on Wednesday. While the existing Surface Laptop 2 comes in just a 13.5-inch edition, it looks increasingly likely that Microsoft will launch a 15-inch model. Rumors have also suggested that Microsoft will use AMD processors in the Surface Laptop for the first time. If you put the AMD rumors and 15-inch rumors together then it’s likely we’ll see a larger Surface Laptop 3 with AMD chips inside.
It’s not clear if the smaller 13.5-inch model will be refreshed or even include AMD chips, but it would be surprising to see Microsoft just launch a Surface Laptop 3 in one new size and no refresh on the smaller model.
Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 might even appear without the infamous Alcantara fabric covering. WalkingCat has hinted that Microsoft could launch a Surface Laptop 3 without Alcantara, and even include removable SSDs as an option. If both changes are true, they’d appeal to a number of commercial customers who need to swap out drives and don’t want to look after the Alcantara fabric like a luxury handbag.
WINDOWS LITE AND SURFACE DUAL-SCREEN
The big surprise of the day will likely be Microsoft’s tease of the future of Windows. We’ve known for a while that Microsoft has been working on a dual-screen Surface device, codenamed “Centaurus,” and the October 2nd event could serve as the first unveiling of this new type of hardware. Microsoft has been building a new dual-screen device for more than two years, and it’s designed to be the hero device for a wave of new dual-screen tablet / laptop hybrids that OEMs are expected to launch throughout 2020.
Microsoft demonstrated this new device during an internal meeting earlier this year, showing that work on the prototype has gone beyond the early stages. A key part of this hardware will be Windows Lite, the codename for a new Windows variant that will power dual-screen devices. Also known as “Santorini” internally, Windows Lite is more of a Chrome OS-like version of Windows designed specifically for dual-screen and foldable devices.
Intel has been pushing OEMs to create dual-screen devices, and a lot of the hardware could look similar to Microsoft’s original Courier concept or even include foldable displays in the future. The Windows Lite interface will be similar to Windows as it exists today, but it will be more of a mix of what Microsoft does with its Surface Hub shell and the limited functionality of its Windows Phone Continuum user interface. The underlying parts of Windows Lite are built on Microsoft’s new Composable Shell (C-Shell) and Windows Core OS, a more modular version of the existing Windows Shell that powers many parts of Windows 10.
How much Microsoft reveals about its dual-screen Surface plans and even Windows Lite remains to be seen, but we’re expecting to see some type of teaser on Wednesday. These devices aren’t expected to be ready until next year, so we won’t likely see final hardware or even software, but just a brief glimpse of the future of Windows.
SURFACE SPEAKER AND TEAMS FOR LIFE
Alongside the more traditional Surface devices, we could be about to see some type of Surface speaker. Microsoft surprised us all with Surface Headphones last year, and a new patent suggests the company is working on a portable speaker for Microsoft Teams.
The portable speaker itself appears to have a similar design to Google’s Home Mini, with fabric wrapped around the top and volume buttons with the ability to make, receive, and mute calls. That hints that this is related to Microsoft Teams and meeting rooms, and one of the inventors is a principle design manager for Microsoft Teams devices. The device also appears to have a removable base, perhaps to allow it to charge and be positioned around a meeting room.
Microsoft also demonstrated a prototype for a new consumer version of Microsoft Teams earlier this year, dubbed Microsoft Teams “for life.” It’s designed as an extension of Microsoft’s chat app for friends and family. Microsoft is experimenting with features like sending location, shared family calendars, and document sharing. We may see this new version of Teams alongside a potential Surface speaker.
WHAT NOT TO EXPECT
There’s clearly a lot planned for Wednesday, but we’re not expecting any updates to other Surface products like the Surface Book 3 or Surface Go. While a 15-inch version of the Surface Laptop 3 could certainly rival the Surface Book, we’d still expect to see this product updated at some point in the near future. Likewise, a new Surface Go doesn’t seem likely for Wednesday, especially if Microsoft is about to unveil an ARM-powered Surface Pro.
Microsoft is also rumored to be working on Surface-branded earbuds to take on Apple’s AirPods. Amazon just launched its own Echo Buds with Alexa built in, and Microsoft unveiled its first Surface Headphones at its Surface event last year. We haven’t heard any additional rumors about these potential Surface earbuds appearing before the end of 2019, so it would be surprising to see them on Wednesday.
The Verge will be covering Microsoft’s Surface event live, with a dedicated live blog and all the news as it happens. Microsoft’s Surface event starts at 10AM ET / 7AM PT on Wednesday, October 2nd.
iPad Pro 2020 could use a screen type that’s better than OLED
At the moment most high-end phones and some high-end tablets use OLED displays rather than LCD, with the former generally seen as superior. But Apple could soon start using an even better tech for its iPad range.
That’s according to Ming-Chi Kuo (a respected Apple analyst) who in a research note seen by MacRumors said that new iPads released in late 2020 or early 2021 would use miniLED screens.
A miniLED iPad display would use many more LEDs than an OLED one, but to achieve this each LED is substantially smaller. It’s a change which should allow for thinner, lighter screens (and therefore thinner, lighter iPads), with performance that at least matches OLED, and less risk of screen burn-in.
- Read our full iPad Pro 11 (2018) review
- See what we think of the iPad Air (2019)
- New iPad Pro 2019: what we want to see
It’s also a move that should make Apple less dependent on Samsung, as while Samsung is the primary supplier of Apple’s OLED screens, LG Display would apparently be the main supplier for miniLED.
Not just iPads
Kuo doesn’t say what iPads would get these displays, but given that this is a new, high-end tech, they’re likely to initially be reserved for iPad Pro models. These miniLED screens would also apparently be used for new MacBook models launched in the first half of 2021 – and while Kuo doesn’t say as much, we wouldn’t be surprised if these screens are eventually used for iPhones as well.
Then again, Apple might leapfrog miniLED and go straight to microLED for its phones. Apple has been rumored to be working on microLED for a while, and as the name suggests, it’s similar to miniLED but with even smaller LEDs (keeping many of the advantages and likely being more power-efficient too).
However, microLED displays are also currently trickier and more expensive to produce, which is reportedly why Apple isn’t using them yet. As such, we wouldn’t expect to see them on the iPhone 12 – but for the iPhone 13 they’re a real possibility.
iPadOS and iOS 13.1 now available to download
Apple is releasing iPadOS to all compatible iPads today. After moving the release date up from September 30th, iPadOS brings some highly anticipated features to Apple’s tablet line. The most obvious one is the addition of widgets to the home screen. These can be displayed alongside the regular app icons, and it allows for a little more customization on what was previously a very static iPad home screen.
This is the first iteration of iPadOS, and it naturally includes many of the iOS 13 features you’d expect to see like dark mode, updates to Apple Maps, Photos, and Reminders, and even things like Xbox and PS4 controller support for iPads. Apple is also adding what it describes as “desktop-class” browsing to Safari, and tweaking its multitasking features. An updated Files app should also make it easier to manage files and photos on an iPad.
iPadOS is available now on an iPad Air 2 or later, an iPad Pro, a fifth-generation or later iPad, or iPad mini 4 or later. Alongside iPadOS, Apple is also releasing iOS 13.1 to compatible iPhone devices today, with some much-needed bug fixes, automated Siri Shortcut actions, a share ETA feature in Apple Maps, and data separation for enterprise devices. You can get iOS 13.1 or iPadOS from settings > general > software update. If you’re still on the public beta profile, you’ll need to remove this from your device to see iOS 13.1 or iPadOS.
Source: The Verge
Microsoft’s next Surface Pen looks like it’ll have wireless charging
An updated version of Microsoft’s Surface Pen, which is expected to be announced at the company’s annual fall hardware event on October 2nd, may come with wireless charging. An FCC filing for the stylus refers to a “charging coil,” pointing to the possibility that the pen will have an internal power source, allowing for it to be used without AAAA batteries like the pen’s current model does.
Teardowns for competitor styluses with wireless charging have revealed coils being used for this exact purpose. In this JerryRigEverything teardown of the Galaxy Note 10 Plus’ S-Pen, a charging coil can be found toward the tip of the pen, showing how the pen is charged through the phone.
The Apple Pencil 2, which charges by magnetically attaching to the side of an iPad Pro, sports a similar charging coil. You can check it out in the photo below from the iFixit teardown. The Surface Pen already magnetically attaches to Surface laptops, albeit without charging, so hopefully this FCC filing is a sign of the feature to come.
The upcoming Surface Pen will likely be another separately purchased accessory priced at around $99 to accompany the new Surface Pro line. We should learn more details about it during Microsoft’s fall event on October 2nd.
Source: The Verge