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October 9, 2018

Apple Pencil 2 With AirPods-Like Pairing Expected to Launch Alongside iPad Pro With Face ID

by John_A

A new version of the Apple Pencil with an AirPods-like pairing process will be released for the rumored iPad Pro with Face ID, expected to be announced later this month, according to 9to5Mac’s Guilherme Rambo:

The new Apple Pencil will be paired with iPad Pro by proximity, much like AirPods or HomePod. Switching between devices will be possible without connecting the Apple Pencil to the charging port. It’s unclear whether the current model of Apple Pencil will work with the new iPad.

It’s unclear if the new Apple Pencil will be compatible with previous iPad Pro models or the sixth-generation iPad.

iPad Pro with edge-to-edge display mockup via iDropNews
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said Apple was working on a new Apple Pencil and new software tools for using the stylus back in November 2017, but few details have surfaced until now, beyond a patent filing for a more precise version of the drawing tool that would incorporate ultrasonic technology.

The current Apple Pencil launched alongside the original iPad Pro in November 2015, and hasn’t been refreshed since. The $99 drawing tool gained support for the sixth-generation 9.7-inch iPad earlier this year.

Rambo said the new iPad Pro will have an edge-to-edge display without a home button, as rumored several times. Unlike the iPhone X, he said the new iPad Pro will not have a notch, as the bezels are said to be wide enough to accommodate the TrueDepth camera and sensor array necessary for Face ID.

Face ID on the new iPad Pro will work in both portrait and landscape orientations, according to the report.

Rambo also corroborates rumors about the iPad Pro with Face ID having a new rear-facing Magnetic Connector for connecting accessories, such as a new Smart Keyboard. Earlier this year, rumors and a CAD drawing suggested the Smart Connector will be relocated to the lower back side of the device.

Possible CAD of 2018 iPad Pro via Steve Hemmerstoffer/OnLeaks
The report also corroborates Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s claim that the new iPad Pro will have a USB-C port. The new connector will enable 4K HDR video output to external displays, with new settings to control resolution, HDR, and brightness on connected external displays, according to Rambo.

Apple will likely unveil the iPad Pro with Face ID and the new Apple Pencil at a media event later this month, although no date has been announced as of yet. Apple is also expected to announce updates to several Mac models at the event, including the MacBook and/or MacBook Air, iMac, and Mac mini.

Apple’s event could take place on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday of next week, in which case invitations should go out within the next few days. The next option would likely be Tuesday, October 30, as Apple CEO Tim Cook will be in Brussels on Wednesday, October 24, likely ruling out an event that week.

Related Roundup: iPad ProTag: Apple PencilBuyer’s Guide: 10.5″ iPad Pro (Don’t Buy), 12.9″ iPad Pro (Don’t Buy)
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