Apple Let Loose the New iPads! Everything that Was Announced

Don’t let them let loose the AI “artists”.

Just two days ago, Apple launched a new series of iPads for the creative industry, the first time we saw an update to the iPads since 2022. As Tim Cook always says “it’s all about the iPads”. Everything about the event including the teaser poster screams artist creativity. That’s what the iPad is all about and thankfully, no mention of AI anywhere during the event, making them easily more ethical than Adobe and DeviantArt combined. It’s bittersweet when Apple cares about the art industry as a whole more than actual creativity-related companies.

There are two products announced and you’ll probably have a guess which ones they are. These are the iPad Air and the M4 iPad Pro. Jumping from M2 to M4 is a classic Apple move, like how they jumped straight to 3nm. There’s also a new Apple Pencil Pro, made precisely for the artist! Not the AI artist, as in, the real ones, the ones that do effort beyond a prompt.

Although Apple did not announce a new iPad base model, they did reduce the price of the previous generation in the United States which, when the new iPads release here in the Philippines, should also take effect!

Oh… they just created a controversial ad. Well, in typical Apple fashion, controversy and Apple products really do go hand in hand but the new ad called “Crush!” goes way beyond the scope of this article but we’ll attempt to cover it some other time.

iPad Air 2024

The new iPad Air… well it does not look any different from the previous iPad Air, another classic Apple move (but fairly enough, also other brands nowadays), but the internals are what matters. Now, if you are an artist that just want an iPad that does the job without caring about other technicalities, then this one is perfect. The tablet itself is made with aluminum yet also remains light to hold.

As the name tells, it is an airy variant of the iPad Pro. It is the most popular line of iPad because it delivers on what makes the iPad Pro great with few compromises, and also gives more than the usual iPad series, making it an effective middle ground. Unlike the 2022 version, there are two sizes available: 11-inch and 13-inch. This flexibility allows artists whether to go for portability or more space to draw. The display resolution is different. Both these tablets use a 60Hz IPS Liquid Retina Display. However, the 11-inch iPad Air has a 2360x1640px resolution and 500nits brightness, while the 13-inch one has 2732x2048px and 600nits brightness

In an essence, the iPad Air is just as powerful as the MacBook now, with the extra privilege of it being more portable (and maybe just as big, especially the 13-inch one). The iPad Air starts at 8/128 configuration. While this sounds too low for today’s standards, do keep in mind that Apple has its own ecosystem free of Android, and thus requiring less RAM and storage. Because iPadOS is proprietary, it also makes it easier for Apple to apply necessary OTA updates and fixes and optimize performance. TouchID, Apple’s fancy way of saying fingerprint unlocking, is available via the power button.

In the United States at least, there are some models of the iPad Air that supports 5G sub-6GHz through E-SIM. Of course, Wi-Fi 6/6e and Bluetooth are available connectivity options. It launches with iPadOS 17.4 right out of the box.

By the way, the new iPad Air also has improved Facetime quality thanks to a 12MP selfie camera that is now aligned horizontally with the tablet. There is also a 12MP primary shooter. These two cameras are usually more than what flagship Android tablets have to offer.

There are four colours to choose from. These are the classic Space Grey followed by Starlight Purple, and Blue. The above image is most likely from the iPads released just two years ago. If you were looking for an iPhone here, then you need to wait until September at the earliest to get your hands on the new iPhone 16 series.

iPad Pro 2024

As the flagship product of the iPad line, the iPad Pro has some of Apple’s finest developments, including the new M4 chip which should power up new MacBooks. It is the successor to the M2 and it is so advanced it skipped the M3. That would have been a good number. BMW’s M3 works pretty well and we’re sure it would too with Apple.

Like the iPad Air, there are two sizes available for the artist to choose from. There is an 11-inch and a 13-inch size. However, they do differ slightly in terms of performance. While, yes, they both use the M4 chip, their architecture differs. For instance, the 8/256 options of both tablets consist of 3 performance + 4 efficiency cores while the 16/1TB and 2TB variants get 4 performance and 4 efficiency cores. Apple is one of the only companies to do this type of differentiation, most likely because they have full control over the chipsets they use for their products.

The M4 chip is fabbed using a TSMC N3e process. In simple terms, it is based on a 2nd generation 3nm process which we hoped to solve the issues of the first generation, mostly the overheating issues found on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. It is also 1.5x faster than the M2 chip.

In classic Apple fashion, the brand used the name “Ultra Retina XDR” to call the two-layered OLED panel found on the flagship tablet. This display has a bright 1000 nits of brightness capable of lighting up even in the darkest of the night, and peaks at 1600nits for HDR.

Speaking of performance, the neural engine found on the iPad Pro is 60x faster, with its 38TOPS speed, compared to the original A11 Bionic. The iPad Pro also has Final Cut Pro built in and comes with several assistive tools like AI Captions and a powerful background remover.

Apple takes every part of its devices very seriously, even cameras on a tablet. Although yes, the rear camera only has 12MP resolution, it can shoot just as good as older iPhone models, like the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro. There is a 12MP ultrawide camera at the front as well, now positioned horizontally, featuring Apple’s “Center Stage” that makes video conferencing a more breathtaking experience. The iPad Pro now finally features a document scanner, something that definitely was not done before. Even when there are shadows, using AI, the tablet creates multiple copies of the image and selects the best image with the best lighting before showing you the final results. The sensors at the back are LiDAR sensors and a microphone hole.

Yes, the USB-C connector at the bottom of the device now also has support for USB 4.0 and Thunderbolt 3 which allows for super fast charging and transferring of files, up to 40Gb/s.

US users can get the new iPad Pro now starting at $999. This is also the same introductory price as the M1 iPad Pro.

Apple Pencil Pro

Alongside the new iPad Pro, there is also the Apple Pencil Pro with even better sensitivity features that can further simulate how you would use an actual pencil, but this time, it’s digital! A new sensor in the barrel allows the pen to sense a user’s squeeze and long taps which allows it to reveal a menu to switch between palettes, tools, line weights, and others without interrupting your work process. Also now you can rotate the barrel to adjust the pressure and line size, like how you would using a real pencil. The new Hover feature also allows users to visualize the tool before applying them onto the canvas.

It took them several generations but for the first time, Apple is bringing Find My on the Apple Pencil because even real pencils get lost just as fast. Like the previous Apple Pencils, it can charge using the given port at the top of the pencil, or through the magnetic strip and holder of the iPad Pro.

Apple also redesigned the Magic Keyboard which now features a slimmer design, a larger trackpad, and better haptic feedback so it simulates closer to how a MacBook keyboard would feel.

We’re waiting for Power Mac and Beyond the Box to respond as to hear the official release.