iPad Pro Upgrades and New Apple Pencil Pro: Apple Launch Event Recap

iPad Pro Upgrades and New Apple Pencil Pro: Apple Launch Event Recap

On May 7, Apple’s belated Spring Special Event was finally held. Although the event lasted just over half an hour, it was a tightly paced affair, featuring not only the unveiling of the new iPad Pro with an OLED screen and M4 chip, but also the much-anticipated Apple Pencil Pro, which brought a whole new level of interaction to the event.

iPad Pro: M4 Chip Arrives, Features Upgraded Across the Board

Also at the one-and-a-half year mark of this refresh cycle, Apple has released the iPad Pro with a completely new design. first, there’s a bit of a change in screen size, with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro upgraded to 13 inches while retaining the 11-inch iPad Pro.

In addition to the size change, the overall design of the iPad Pro has also changed, with the color scheme changing from “Deep Sky Gray” to “Deep Sky Black”. 11-inch version has changed its thickness from 5.9mm to 5.3mm and its weight from 468g to 446g; 13-inch version has changed its thickness from 6.4mm to 5.1mm and its weight from 684g to 582g.

Weight comparisons are for the WLAN + cellular model, and Apple says the new 13-inch iPad Pro is thinner than even the iPod nano. The new iPad Pro lineup also features an upgraded screen technology called the “Ultra-Fine Retina XDR Display. “The Ultra Retina XDR Display uses dual-layer tandem OLED technology to fuse and stack the light from two OLED panels, and Apple says the Ultra Retina XDR Display can display SDR and HDR content at 1,000nit across the entire screen, with peak HDR brightness of up to 1,600nit, and ProMotion has been changed to 10Hz to 120Hz, up from 60Hz. In addition, the new iPad Pro is available with an optional “Nano Textured Display Glass” version to minimize glare.

Instead of the M3 chip, the new iPad Pro lineup brings the M4 chip. According to Apple, the M4 chip is based on a second-generation 3-nanometer process and includes up to four performance cores and six power-efficiency cores, delivering up to 1.5 times faster CPU performance than the M2 version of the iPad Pro.

It’s worth noting that only the 1T and 2T versions of the iPad Pro use the “full-blooded” version of the M4 chip.

The GPU is still 10 cores, the same as the M3 chip released last year, with support for dynamic caching, hardware-accelerated mesh shading, ray tracing, and more, and with higher-bandwidth memory, the M4 chip is up to four times faster in professional rendering apps like Octane. The M4 chip can perform up to 38 trillion operations per second in the NPU, and the M4 chip also supports AV1 decoding.

In terms of cameras, the new iPad Pro’s rear camera has changed from a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera with a 10-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera to a 12-megapixel single wide-angle camera. The flash has been upgraded to an Adaptive Color Flash, and Apple says that with AI, if the new iPad recognizes a document with shadows in the image, it will instantly take multiple photos with the new Adaptive Flash, which integrates the scanned data to produce a clearer scan. The front-facing camera has also been changed from a vertical camera to a horizontal one, while other parameters remain unchanged.

In terms of connectivity, the new iPad Pro’s USB-C port supports the 40Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 and USB 4 protocols, while wireless performance supports up to Wi-Fi 6E, and the China-branded version of the iPad Pro also removes the SIM slot in favor of the eSIM service provided by China Unicom.

Because of the change in the iPad Pro’s appearance, the MyoControl Keyboard also has a new design. In addition to being lighter and thinner, the new MyoControl Keyboard offers a full row of function keys for users to adjust screen brightness and volume control; the touchpad is not only larger, but also offers haptic feedback.

iPad Air: New Size, Regular Upgrade

For the first time, the iPad Air is available in 2 different sizes, in line with the iPad Pro in terms of specifications, in 11-inch and 13-inch versions, available in Dark Sky Gray, Blue, Purple, and Starlight colors.

In terms of design, the iPad Air, like the iPad Pro, has moved the front camera from its original vertical position to a horizontal position to capture a wider image, and the rear camera is still a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens with support for 4K video capture.The front and rear lenses on the 11-inch and 13-inch models have a small upgrade in terms of photographic capabilities, with support for the ability to capture HDR 4 photos.

Volume and weight, the 11-inch version of the iPad Air and the previous generation of 10.9-inch models in the height, width, thickness are consistent, the weight is also basically the same as the previous generation of products, from 461 grams to 462 grams; 13-inch models in the weight of a significant increase, came to 617 grams.

In terms of the screen, the new iPad Air adds support for the Apple Pencil hover function, and the 13-inch version of the SDR maximum brightness has been increased from 500 nits to 600 nits.

According to Apple, the 13-inch model has up to 30 percent more screen real estate than the 11-inch model, and both iPads continue to feature Liquid retina displays. The new iPad Air also features landscape stereo speakers with support for spatial audio, including double the bass in the 13-inch model.

In terms of performance, both new iPad models feature Apple’s M2 chip, which delivers up to a 50 percent performance boost over its predecessor. According to Apple, the iPad Air with the M2 chip can also utilize a number of AI capabilities supported by the iPadOS system, including screen subject extraction, live text, and more, and third-party app developers can utilize the Core ML framework and device-side AI capabilities provided by the system to add a wide range of AI features to their apps.

In terms of battery life, Apple’s official website shows that the battery life of the two new iPad Airs is the same as the fifth-generation iPad Air, regardless of whether it’s the 11-inch version or the 13-inch version, without any changes.

In terms of connectivity, the new iPad Air eliminates the physical SIM slot and offers a choice of a wireless LAN model or a wireless LAN + cellular (eSIM) model.

Apple Pencil Pro: A new level of interaction

In terms of accessories, the long-rumored new generation of Apple Pencil has arrived as promised, and this is the first time that the Apple Pencil has been named Pro.

In terms of design, the Apple Pencil Pro is not much different from its predecessor, with new sensors in the body that allow it to support new interactions such as side swivel and pinch, as well as support for the Find My Find feature. Among them, the pinch gesture can be used to quickly bring up the tool palette in order to quickly switch between tools, line thickness, color, and so on. Side swivel allows you to rotate the body of the Apple Pencil Pro to more precisely control different brush shapes and more, thanks to the new gyroscope sensor inside the body of the Apple Pencil Pro. The Apple Pencil Pro also has a built-in vibration motor, so you can feel the feedback from the Apple Pencil Pro when you pinch, tap, and more. Apple Pencil Pro for these interactions, developers can customize their functions to bring their apps a better experience.

Apple Pencil Pro works with the new iPad Pro and the new iPad Air, but not with the previous-generation iPad Pro and other iPad models that also have the M2 chip.

Strong Updates to Professional Software

For the software portion of the event, Apple announced two major productivity software updates, with new versions of Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad and Mac.

Final Cut Pro

Final Cut Pro 2 for iPad now includes real-time multi-camera capabilities, so you can connect up to four devices and gather the footage in one place for real-time remote monitoring, and the new Final Cut Camera app, which allows you to wirelessly connect to your shooting device and remotely control every angle of the shot. Final Cut Camera can also be used independently to record professional video content on your iPhone or iPad. External hard drive projects are also now supported, so you can create or open projects on a removable drive without using up internal storage space. Final Cut Pro 2 for iPad will be updated for free later this spring. In addition, Final Cut Pro 10.8 for Mac has been updated with a number of AI-related features.

Logic Pro

Logic Pro 2 for iPad and Logic Pro 11 for Mac add a number of new AI features, including Backing Tracker, an AI-driven personalized backing band that includes improved drummer functionality as well as new bassist and keyboardist capabilities.

In addition, with the power of AI and the M-Series Apple chips, ChromaGlow can emulate the sound of a range of world-renowned studio hardware mixes. What are your thoughts on the new devices introduced at the launch event, and which one are you going to get? Feel free to discuss with us in the comments section.