Deals Spotlight: 64GB 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Hits New Low Price at $824 ($175 Off)

Amazon is discounting the 64GB Wi-Fi version of the latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro, now priced at $824. At $175 off the original price of $999, this is the lowest price ever seen among the major Apple resellers for this configuration of the 2018 iPad Pro.

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There are also a few high-end cellular options available on sale, including the 512GB 12.9-inch iPad Pro ($200 off) and the 1TB 12.9-inch iPad Pro ($200 off). These are both all-time-low prices as well, discounted to $1,299 and $1,699, respectively.

12.9-Inch iPad Pro Sale


  • 64GB, Wi-Fi - $824, down from $999 ($175 off, lowest ever)
Apple updated the iPad Pro line in October 2018, with all-new edge-to-edge displays that removed the traditional Home button in favor of the new TrueDepth camera system and Face ID. These tablets also support the Apple Pencil 2 and new Smart Keyboards.

Head to our full Deals Roundup to stay up-to-date on all the latest discounts.

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Apple Reportedly in Talks With Samsung About OLED Displays for Future iPads and MacBooks

Samsung is the exclusive supplier of OLED displays for the iPhone X and newer, as part of a supply agreement with Apple. Due to fewer iPhone sales than anticipated in recent quarters, however, Apple has reportedly ordered fewer OLED displays from Samsung than both companies initially expected.


Due to the shortfall, Korea's ETNews reports that Apple now owes Samsung a penalty in the amount of hundreds of millions of dollars. Instead of paying cash, however, the report claims Apple has offered multiple options, including committing to OLED display orders for future products like "tablets and notebooks."

This aligns with a recent report from Korean site The Elec that claimed Samsung is in talks with Apple about supplying OLED displays for an all-new 16-inch MacBook Pro and future iPad Pro models.

MacRumors mockup of 16-inch MacBook Pro

We first heard about a potential 16-inch to 16.5-inch MacBook Pro from well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said the notebook will launch at some point in 2019 with an "all-new design," but he did not comment on which display technology the notebook will use or share any other details.

Kuo has also previously claimed that two new iPad Pro models will enter mass production between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020, but again, he did not say which display technology the tablets will use.


Beyond that, Kuo expects Apple to launch several new products with Mini-LED backlights over the next two years, including a 10-inch to 12-inch iPad in late 2020 or early 2021 and a 15-inch to 17-inch MacBook in the first half of 2021, so it's unclear exactly how far away we are from the first OLED-based iPads and Macs.

Apple's transition to OLED started with the Apple Watch, followed by the iPhone X, so the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro would continue that natural progression of the technology from smaller to larger displays.

OLED displays could have several benefits for future iPad Pro and MacBook Pro models, including lower power consumption, increased brightness, sharper colors, and faster response times compared to LCDs. OLED panels are often thinner, too, which could lead to slimmer and lighter product designs.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, MacBook Pro

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Craig Federighi on iPad’s Long-Awaited External Drive Support: ‘We’re Willing to Acknowledge the 1990s’

On the latest episode of the AppStories podcast, hosts Federico Viticci and John Voorhees sat down with Apple's software engineering chief Craig Federighi to discuss WWDC 2019 announcements, including Project Catalyst, SwiftUI, and iPadOS.

Craig Federighi at WWDC 2019

Project Catalyst will make it much easier for developers to extend iPad apps to the Mac. In many cases, adding macOS support to an iPad app is as easy as opening an Xcode project and clicking the Mac checkbox, although Apple encourages developers to further optimize their apps to offer a true Mac experience.

Federighi believes Project Catalyst will allow many developers to bring their iPad apps to the Mac, as Apple has bridged the gap between its UIKit framework for iOS apps and its AppKit framework for Mac apps:
UIKit and AppKit always remained these two separate worlds, and depending on what a developer did, they could build an app that was sort of factored in a way that they shared a lot of cross-platform code, but they had to always take that extra step of having people on the team that knew AppKit, people on the team that knew UIKit, and make the decision to specialize for those two. And for many developers, they chose one or the other and not both, because that was a real effort to get the expertise and to make the investment.
Project Catalyst

Federighi expressed excitement about Project Catalyst, noting that he has seen many apps that look fantastic on the iPad that he has wanted on the Mac. With macOS Catalina and Xcode 11, that is now a possibility, with Twitter being one of several companies that plans to extend their iPad app to the Mac.

He added that Project Catalyst gives Apple the "same kind of benefits of being able to have a single team that can focus on making one thing the best and release it across all of our platforms," which makes "a ton of sense" to the company.

SwiftUI

As for Apple's new SwiftUI framework, which enables developers to use easy-to-understand declarative code to create full-featured user interfaces, Federighi said giving developers a tool that is "that expressive and that interactive" is going to result in better ideas and thereby better apps moving forward:
SwiftUI will make development of UI more accessible to many people who maybe weren't approaching it before, and that's exciting, because we're already seeing some of that with Swift and Swift Playgrounds. But even for the most experienced of developers, giving them a tool that is that expressive and that interactive is going to mean they're going to build better things, they're going to try out better ideas, and that's going to result in better apps.
Turning to the new iPadOS platform, Federighi said that the iPad has "become something really distinct from the phone" over the years and, accordingly, was deserving of an operating system that provides a "distinct experience":
Things like Drag and Drop, Split View, Slide Over, Apple Pencil… these are things that really define a different way of working with the device. When I work on my iPad, I don't feel like I'm working on a big phone… or like I'm working on a Mac. I feel like I'm working on an iPad. What we mean when we say macOS, or when we say tvOS, which is an iOS-based platform, or when we say watchOS, which at its core is iOS, these things to us are definitions of experiences. There's a watchOS experience that's tailored for apps that make sense on your wrist. tvOS, a 10-foot UI that makes sense in that context. iPadOS has become a distinct experience. We've been working our way there steadily over time. With the work we did this year, we felt like we were at a place where this truly was a distinct thing.
iPads now fully support external drives

Humorously, Federighi also poked fun at the iPad's newly added support for external storage such as USB drives and SD cards:
External drives. We're willing to acknowledge the 1990s and go all the way back. You know, people still use them sometimes. I'm an AirDrop fan myself, but I understand there are other uses… we know with photographers, the ability to import their photos directly into an app like Lightroom is so important.
The full interview can be listened to on the AppStories podcast over at MacStories.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

This article, "Craig Federighi on iPad's Long-Awaited External Drive Support: 'We're Willing to Acknowledge the 1990s'" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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3D Touch Likely Dropped in 2019 iPhones as Haptic Touch Expanded Across iPhones and iPads

Earlier this month, it was reported that 3D Touch will not be supported by 2019 iPhones. This rumor was surfaced by a team of Barclays analysts after they traveled to Asia and spoke with multiple Apple suppliers, likely meaning that there is evidence of 3D Touch being removed at the hardware level.


Now, on the software side, there are changes that suggest the rumor is accurate. It really looks like pressure-sensitive 3D Touch is going away.

Apple has confirmed that both "Quick Actions" menus that float above app icons on the home screen and "Peek" previews of emails, links, messages, and more are now supported on any iPhone or iPad that can run iOS 13 or iPadOS. These features were previously exclusive to iPhones with 3D Touch.

Apple's feature list for iOS 13 and iPadOS

Both features rely on a long press, aka pressing and holding, meaning this is effectively an expansion of the Haptic Touch functionality that debuted on the iPhone XR last year. Haptic Touch is simply a marketing term for a long press combined with haptic feedback from the Taptic Engine.

Notably, this means Quick Actions menus and Peek previews are now supported on the iPhone XR and the iPad Air 2 or newer for the first time ever.

Quick Actions on an iPad and iPhone XR for first time ever

The ability to invoke Quick Actions menus and Peek previews with a long press in iOS 13 is even supported on iPhones with 3D Touch, including the iPhone XS models, likely foreshadowing the removal of 3D Touch from 2019 iPhones.

3D Touch can still be used in iOS 13 on iPhones that support the feature, resulting in two ways to invoke Quick Actions menus. This includes the iPhone 6s through iPhone XS Max, excluding the iPhone SE. However, some users are unable to access 3D Touch settings in the first iOS 13 beta, which is likely a bug.

The transition from 3D Touch to Haptic Touch for Peek previews was hinted at a few weeks ago. As noted by developer Radek Pietruszewski, open source WebKit commits revealed that the APIs for the feature, previously known as Peek and Pop, would be deprecated in a future iOS version.

All in all, there is a strong possibility that 2019 iPhones will feature Haptic Touch instead of 3D Touch when they are released later this year.

(Screenshots: RayFirefist, BitVoiceFM)

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iPhone XR, 2019 iPhones

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Apple Introduces Sidecar App for Using an iPad as a Mac’s Secondary Display

Apple today at WWDC 2019 unveiled a new Mac app named Sidecar that will allow an iPad to be used as a second display for a Mac, similar to existing third-party options like Duet Display and Luna Display.


Sidecar will work both wired and wirelessly and will support the Apple Pencil as an input device for the Mac. This functionality will be supported across all apps that support tablets.


Apple's WWDC 2019 keynote is underway. Stay tuned for updates…

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, WWDC 2019, macOS 10.15
Tag: Sidecar

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Samsung Rumored to Supply OLED Displays for 16-Inch MacBook Pro and Future iPad Pros

Samsung is in talks with Apple about supplying OLED displays for a 16-inch MacBook Pro and future iPad Pro models, according to Korean site The Elec, which does not have a proven track record in terms of Apple rumors.


We first heard about a potential 16-inch to 16.5-inch MacBook Pro from well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said the notebook will launch at some point in 2019 with an "all-new design," but he did not comment on which display technology the notebook will use or share any other details.

Kuo later said Apple is planning to release a new 15-inch to 17-inch MacBook Pro with a mini-LED backlight in the first half of 2021. It is unclear if this will be a future iteration of the 16-inch MacBook Pro or exactly how Apple's plans will play out.


Kuo has also previously claimed that two new iPad Pro models will enter mass production between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020, but again, he has not commented on what display technology the tablets would use. He also expects a new iPad with a mini-LED backlight in late 2020 to early 2021.

Little else is known about the rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro or new iPad Pro models at this time. Apple surprised us earlier this week with new 2019 MacBook Pro models, but the only changes are faster processors and a "new material" added to the keyboard for improved reliability — hopefully, at least.

Given this week's MacBook Pro refresh, it is reasonable to assume that Apple will not release the rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro until at least the fall. Or, if the 16-inch MacBook Pro has been delayed internally, then perhaps it won't debut until an event next year such as WWDC 2020 in June. It is too early to say.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, MacBook Pro

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Kuo: 2019 iPhones and New iPad Pro Models in Late 2019 to Early 2020 to Adopt New Antenna Technology

Apple plans to use modified-PI (MPI) material for most antennas in 2019 iPhones, rather than the liquid crystal polymer (LCP) material used for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR antennas, according to the latest research note from reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, obtained by MacRumors.


Kuo believes that LCP limits the RF performance of the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR antennas due to current technology limitations and production issues. This puts the RF performance of MPI material at least on par with LCP, despite MPI being easier and cheaper to produce.

While switching to MPI material for 2019 iPhone antennas appears to be a no-brainer decision for Apple, Kuo expects that LCP will still be the primary material for 5G antennas in 2020 iPhones, as he believes that the production issues limiting the RF performance of LCP will be resolved by then.

In today's note, Kuo also said he expects Apple to use LCP material in future iPad models, starting from the late fourth quarter of 2019.


In a separate research note last month, which has only been seen by Taiwanese media so far, Kuo said two new iPad Pro models with the same 11-inch and 12.9-inch screen sizes as the current models will enter mass production between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020.

Kuo said those new iPad Pro models will feature flexible circuit boards using LCP, but we've yet to receive that research note in English, so we cannot confirm any further details at this time.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, 2019 iPhones

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Apple Rumored to Add USB Mouse Support to iPad Pro as Accessibility Feature

On the latest episode of the Connected podcast on Relay FM, MacStories editor-in-chief Federico Viticci suggested that USB mouse support could eventually be coming to the iPad Pro as an accessibility feature.


"What I heard is without adapters, you will be able to use any USB mouse on your iPad, but as an accessibility device," said Viticci. "The iPad Pro has a USB-C port, so just plug in a USB mouse and if you have physical impairments, if you have any other kinds of motor impairments, just use a USB mouse in accessibility mode."

It has long been possible to use a compatible adaptive accessory like a joystick or trackball with Apple's accessibility feature AssistiveTouch to control an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, but USB mouse support would seemingly eliminate the need for any specialized hardware or adapters.

Viticci cautions that this is something that he "heard months ago" and that he doesn't "know if it'll happen," but well-known developer Steve Troughton-Smith tweeted that "as far as I'm aware, that is indeed in the works."


As noted by Viticci, this wouldn't be the first time Apple enables a feature "under the catch-all umbrella of accessibility." Any user would presumably be able to toggle on USB mouse support in the Settings app, with Troughton-Smith adding that "I feel like every pro user will turn that on, day one."

In a follow-up tweet, Troughton-Smith speculated that iOS could perhaps have "a small circle or dot" for a cursor rather than a traditional pointer, but the exact implementation of mouse support if any remains to be seen.

No specific timeframe has been provided for USB mouse support on the iPad, but it could presumably be added as early as iOS 13, which is expected to be unveiled at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The software update should be publicly released in September alongside new iPhones.

Listen to Connected on Relay FM. Viticci's remarks about the potential for USB mouse support on the iPad begin at the 1:08:35 mark.

Via: iDownloadBlog

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

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Apple Shares New Videos Highlighting What iPad Pro Can Do

Apple today uploaded six new videos focused on showing off iPad Pro features, continuing on with its "What You Can Do With iPad" series promoting the new 11 and 12.9-inch tablets.

Most of the videos are over a minute long and feature different iPad Pro apps, features, and capabilities, ranging from handwriting a note with Apple Pencil to creating music.







Multitasking with multiple windows, making notes with Apple Pencil, browsing the web, using Maps, watching videos, reading with the Books app, annotating photos, using drag and drop, video editing, typing with both the on-screen keyboard and the Smart Keyboard Folio, and making music with GarageBand are all shown off in the video.

Apple also highlights charging the iPhone with the iPad Pro, shooting in 4K, plugging in USB-C accessories, and Group FaceTime.

Several third-party apps are shown off in the videos, such as LumaFusion, Animation Desk, NBA 2K, Felt, Notability, Trello, Calm, Procreate, Affinity Designer, Impress, Universe, and more.

All of Apple's videos link to a "Look what you can do with iPad Pro" website that first launched in January. Apple says that all of the videos were filmed with the iPad Pro, as were the previous videos in the series.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

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Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio vs. Third-Party Alternatives

Apple designed a Smart Keyboard Folio for the 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, but while it's super slim, it's also expensive and with flat keys that some iPad users might not like.

Luckily, third-party companies like Zagg and Logitech have come out with some alternate iPad Pro keyboards, and in today's video, we're comparing the Smart Keyboard Folio from Apple to two popular alternatives - the Slim Folio Pro from Logitech and the Slim Book Go from Zagg.

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We tested keyboards for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, but both Logitech and Zagg make variants for both iPad Pro models. Zagg's Slim Book Go is priced at $99 for the 11-inch model and $130 for the 12.9-inch model, while the Slim Folio Pro from Logitech is priced at $120 for the 11-inch model and $130 for the 12.9-inch model.

Both third-party keyboard options are cheaper than the Smart Keyboard Folio from Apple, which costs $179 for the 11-inch iPad Pro and $199 for the 12.9-inch model, so you can save a decent amount of cash with a third-party option.

Apple's Smart Keyboard Folio is super slim and adds a minimal amount of bulk to the iPad Pro, and that thin profile is a feature that Logitech and Zagg haven't been able to match. The Slim Folio Pro and the Slim Book Go both add a considerable amount of bulk to the iPad Pro, doubling the weight of the device and making it a good deal thicker.

Zagg Slim Book Go

Of the two, the Slim Book Go from Zagg is the heftier model, but both are pretty bulky. If you're someone who prefers a device without a thick case on it, these keyboards may not be for you. There are, however, some benefits to these cases beyond price, such as the feel of the keyboard.

The Smart Keyboard Folio from Apple has flat, fabric covered keys that have little travel and don't feel much like a standard keyboard. Zagg and Logitech's solutions, though, are thicker and thus accommodate keys with more travel, a more satisfying press, and just a better overall feel.

The Slim Book Go from Zagg is designed to protect the entire iPad Pro, providing solid drop protection. The case itself is made from a hard plastic, while the keyboard has a cloth feel on the front and felt material surrounding the keys.

Zagg Slim Book Go

You can detach the keyboard cover from the case if you want, leaving just the case itself on the iPad. Zagg left a lot of space at the bottom of the keyboard on the Slim Book Go, so it's comfortable to rest your wrists, but when using it on your lap, it's wobbly.

That's not a problem in a situation where you're using it on a desk, and with the adjustable stand there are multiple viewing angles, something you don't get with Logitech's version. The keyboard is pleasant to type on, but there's no backlighting for the keys. It's not clear why, but there's no sleep/wake function in the cover, so shutting it won't turn off your iPad. Multi-device support is included, something not available in the Slim Folio Pro.

Logitech Slim Folio Pro

Logitech's Slim Folio Pro, unlike the Slim Book Go, is all one piece without a detachable keyboard option. It has a thick rubber frame that protects the iPad, and a single viewing angle for using while typing.

The Slim Folio Pro and the Slim Book Go both offer a better typing experience than the Smart Keyboard Folio for those who like more traditional keys, but we preferred the feel of the Slim Book Go a bit more because the keys have more travel and a more satisfying click. On the plus side, it's a bit less bulky and not as heavy, and it has backlit keys, a nice bonus feature.

Logitech Slim Folio Pro

Both the Slim Book Go and the Slim Folio Pro connect to the iPad Pro using Bluetooth, making the Smart Keyboard Folio the only keyboard accessory that uses the Smart Connector on the new iPad Pro models. Bluetooth isn't as convenient as the Smart Connector, but these keyboards don't need to be charged often and when they do, you can use USB-C.

So which should you choose? If you hate bulk, get the Smart Keyboard Folio or plan to remove these keyboard cases when not in use, something that can be a hassle.

If you want the best typing experience that's closest to a laptop and don't mind the thickness, choose the Zagg, but if you want something a bit slimmer with backlighting and more stability for on-lap use, choose the Logitech (and make sure to check out our full review). You can, of course, choose none of the above and opt for a much cheaper standalone Bluetooth keyboard.

Which iPad Pro keyboard do you prefer? Apple's, Logitech's, Zagg's, or something else? Let us know in the comments.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

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