A report published by KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo this morning suggests that Apple is working to build a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro to launch during fiscal 2017. It sounds like Apple will then launch a totally redesigned iPad the following year, when it starts to deploy new software features and AMOLED displays. In anticipation of these new products, I thought it would be fun to discuss some new features I hope Apple adds.
1. Iris scanner
The iris scanner on the Galaxy Note 7 is one of my favorite features introduced on Samsung’s new flagship smartphone. It allows a user to unlock the device effortlessly, simply by looking just above the display. It’s incredibly fast, and seems to be more useful than fingerprint readers, which I’ve found seem to get less accurate over time, requiring the end user to re-authenticate his or her prints. Given the the size of the iPad, particularly the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, this could make logging in less cumbersome.
2. A place to store the Apple Pencil
I bought an iPad Pro recently, and I’m loving the Apple Pencil. One of the most frustrating things, however, is that I’m constantly losing it inside my bag. Apple needs to create something better – whether it’s a magnet like the Surface Pro 4 employs, or a dedicated area inside the tablet like Samsung uses for the Galaxy Note.
3. Fast Charging
My goodness the iPad charges far too slowly for my tastes. Samsung has started to add its Adaptive Fast Charging technology to new tablets, including the TabPro S, but Apple still hasn’t deployed any such technology to its tablets or smartphones. It’s time for that to change. There’s no reason we should be sitting at the outlet for hours before heading on a flight or onto a train, worried that our iPads won’t be fully charged ahead of time.
4. 3D Touch
I’m still shocked Apple launched the iPad Pro without 3D Touch. The company introduced the technology first in the Apple Watch and then again MacBook Pro trackpad and in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, but it still hasn’t been used in the iPad. My guess is that the display technology is too expensive for that sort of implementation, at least if Apple wants to keep the sales margins its investors love. Given that 3D Touch is built into new applications and allows new experiences in iOS 10, though, I hope (and expect) Apple to introduce this with its next-gen iPad Pro.
5. Keep the headphone jack
This shouldn’t be a feature I have to ask for, but I’m doing it anyway. If Apple ditches the 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7, my guess is it will start to do the same with the iPad Pro and all of its products. Given I’m sitting here plugged into the headphone jack right now, though, it’s a feature I definitely still rely on and hope Apple doesn’t ditch. Sadly, I bet this is the most unlikely thing on the list — maybe right up there with the iris scanner.