The first iOS 12.1 beta is light on new features. Despite this, the update all but confirmed that new iPad Pro models are coming.
Discovered in the code for the new beta were at least three little nuggets that point to new tablets. First, developer Steve Troughton-Smith found language indicating Face ID support for landscape orientation was coming for iPad (but not iPhone).
Face ID has support for landscape orientation (presumably for iPad only), and iOS 12.1 seems to care a lot more about whether an external display is connected (perhaps due to iPad USB-C rumors; it won't have the Lighting HDMI adapter as an intermediary for video-out)
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) September 18, 2018
Next, 9to5Mac discovered code that mentions Memoji syncing. The personalized Animoji feature is exclusive to Apple devices with a TrueDepth camera. To date, this only includes iPhones, including the iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.
As 9to5Mac rightly explains:
Currently, if you create custom Memoji on one device, they won’t show up on your other devices. Of course, this is fine right now as Memoji is only supported on the iPhone and people generally only have one iPhone. Going forward, however, it makes sense for Apple to implement iCloud syncing for Memoji as it preps new iPad Pro with Face ID models for release later this year.
If these two points weren’t enough, 9to5Mac also found a new identifier for a “2018 fall” iPad.
For months, rumors have suggested Apple was prepping two new iPad Pro tablets for 2018, including a first-generation 11-inch variant and third-generation 12.9-inch model. Most expected Apple to announce these products at last week’s “Gather round” event where next-gen iPhones and Apple Watch were announced. An official iPad Pro announcement is now most likely to be made in October. Soon after, Apple will probably release iOS 12.1 to the public.
This year’s iPad Pro models are expected to offer smaller bezels, USB-C instead of Lightning, and ship with an 18W fast charge adapter.
Released to developers on Tuesday, the first iOS 12.1 beta reintroduces Group FaceTime to iOS. The feature allows up to 32 people to chat at once and was supposed to launch with iOS 12 and macOS Mojave. In August, however, Apple said it needed more time before releasing across both operating systems.
Are you planning to buy a new iPad Pro this fall? Let us know below.