What iOS 12 tells us about the future iPads (iPad Pro 2018 generation)

What iOS 12 tells us about the future iPads (iPad Pro 2018 generation)
So, iOS 12 is official and available for an impressive array of Apple devices — new and old. While its user interface is largely the same, we did get some new features, like the long-awaited grouped notifications, the new stock Measure app, the new Screen Time info, and a few others.

iPad users out there might have noticed a few changes specific to them, however. The persistent clock on the top has changed places, the Control Center is — once again — in a different place, and pulling the App Dock up is a bit more annoying than before.

All the new changes to the iPad UI made us think: what could all of these mean for the future iPads? Rumors do insist that Apple is about to launch a new version of the iPad Pro lines before 2018 is over, and some claim that we might see a notch and Face ID on the new tablets. Some features of iOS 12 can definitely be interpreted as being designed around a notched iPad. So, let's take a closer look at what's new and see if there are any hints we should be taking.

The top bar is changed: will the new iPads have a notch?

Rumors insist that Apple will be adding Face ID to its newest iPads. Depending on how thin the frames of the device are, this could mean that the tablet would have a notch in its display.

Let's take a look at the new interface. The clock, which has always been right in the center of the top bar has now moved to the top left corner. The Control Center can now be accessed if you swipe down from the top right of the display — just like how it works on the iPhone X and above.

So, could this mean that the new iPad Pros will have notches? We are not entirely sure.

Yes, it does look like the iOS 12 interface has been conveniently moved around to make room for a notch. However, the changes could have been implemented just to add a bit of consistency in the way an iPad and an iPhone X look and operate. Back in iOS 11, the different iDevices were starting to look and feel very different, which we can imagine is not Apple's end goal. iOS 12 could be here to set things straight. Now, the clock location, the Control Center gesture, and the way it's called down are standardized across devices.

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As far as a notch on the iPad Pro goes — we are much more inclined to believe that Apple will leave a bit of a bezel on the new tablets, so that they will still be comfortable to hold. With a bezel, you don't need a notch, right?

Verdict: a notch on the new iPads is not very probable

The new Home gesture: bye, bye, home button, bye, Touch ID

So, in iOS 11 we got the App Dock. A taskbar-like stripe, which you can pull up from the bottom edge of the iPad's display, which helped with multitasking on the tablet immensely. To get the Dock, you just do a quick swipe from the bottom of the display. Keep swiping up to the middle of the screen and you access the App Switcher — you get all your recent apps in small tiles and the Control Center on the right portion of the screen.

Yeah, it was a little confusing at first, but once we got used to it, it was a pretty convenient combo of gestures. Short pull equals App Dock, long pull equals App Switcher — not too hard, right?

Well, with iOS 12, it gets a bit more complicated. Now, if you do a short flick upwards from the bottom of the screen, it registers as a Go to Home gesture — just like how the iPhone X's homebar works. If you only want to call the App Dock up, without leaving your current app, you need to control your upwards swipe to be slow and deliberate — a quick swipe up means "home", a slow swipe up means "pull up Dock". If you swipe up to the center and hold there, you go into the recent apps multitasking screen.

In other words, the swipe up can now do three different things and you need to control the speed and length of your swipe, depending on what you want to achieve with it — go home, open the App Dock, or open the app switcher. Now, that's a bit complicated, isn't it? Especially for a device that already features a hardware home button.

Well, the addition of this extra gesture to the iPad's interface can be explained away with one simple rumor — the new iPad Pros will, allegedly, not have hardware home buttons, mirroring the evolution of the iPhone.

Of course, one could make the argument we made above — that Apple added the "swipe up for Home" gesture to the iPad just for the sake of consistency between how the different iDevices operate. But we feel like the new home gesture adds a layer of complexity to how the iPad controls that Apple wouldn't have implemented if it wasn't forced to. What could force it to add it? The removal of a home button!

Verdict: it is very possible that the new iPads will not have a home button

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