iPad Updates May 2024: iPad Pro M4 and iPad Air M2

Report: Redesigned M3 iPad Pros, large-screened iPad Air now expected in May | Ars Technica

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Yay, more delays.

I don’t really care about the iPad itself, since I recently got the M2 Pro, but I want to know if the new pencil will work with the current M2s or not. My current Pencil’s tilt stopped working and I’ve been holding off buying a new one just to see if gen 3 will work or not.

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So what in the world is so “critical” about the iPadOS 17 interim upgrade that it requires? Trying to prevent OLED burn-in with that static row/column home page - or some new secret sauce?

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M4?

Could this possibly be true? The reason for the May 7 event is an M4 for the iPad Pro, not an M3?

Since Apple is about to unveil it’s new AI initiative at WWDC a month later, it would make sense to release the new iPad Pro with the improved NPU of the M4 (otherwise no new AI for you iPad Pro buyers until the 2025-26 models). This would be a big development, but would it just mean more misery and disappointment for those of us wanting a MacPad - would they really go from a Porsche engine in their VW to a Falcon Heavy Raptor in the same clunky iPadOS?

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@dstrauss : I’m pretty sure I saw another news item a few days ago that speculated / claimed the same thing. not being a fruity disciple, I didn’t think much about it at the time.

Given the timing, it does seem like a strong possibility…

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@SteveS - sure hope you are right - even though I’ve almost been disuaded of ever having a MacPad. At this point, if they would just bolt on Finder and MS would bring more parity between MacOS and iPadOS versions of Office 365, I would be sorely tempted to make the leap in 2024…

Unfortunately, this has been the annual experience with iPad Pro since 2018, and this year may be The End…

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Max Tech says Gurman confirmed (yesterday morning) that iPad Pro next week is coming with an M4 Processor:

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From the way things sound, M4 may be sizing up to be more of an M3+, or M3 with the A17 Pro’s faster NPU (M3’s NPU does just 18 TOPs versus A17 Pro’s 35 TOPS). That’s why (assuming here) it is such a quick release because dropping in a faster NPU into the M3’s preexisting SoC floorplan is easy peasy. Since notebooks and tablets traditionally do less AI-y things than smartphones, M3 series has lagged behind the A17 series in AI performance since Apple elected to use a less performant NPU to save money from a marginally smaller die (think pennies on the dollar). Unless Apple actually improves their microarchitecture which they have not done in some four years now, and I welcome them to rise to the occasion as that would be amazing, actual non-AI or CPU performance improvements will be a non-event.

EDIT: Reviewing TSMC’s manufacturing capabilities, their best is still 3nm and the earliest we will be seeing 2nm is 2025 which of course will first go to Apple then. That means Apple has nothing as far as manufacturing process is concerned to rely on to improve their SoCs by being able to increase clock speed with a die shrink. For now, that means barring a better manufacturing process and die shrink, either they improve their microarchitecture to increase CPU performance which again they have not done in many years now or they rely on their NPU to increase its perceived value. This all suggests that the CPU part of M4 is going to be ho-hum as I am even more suspecting. In this light, the huge AI focus and teasing makes sense since the NPU portion of the SoC will be taking center stage.

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I remain skeptical.

Not of M4, but of the idea that this will be anything near an actual improvement. M4, like M2 and M1 before it, is complete overkill unless some version of MacOS is finally utilized.

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Looks like someone else agrees that a spec bump isn’t what the iPad needs…

Apple’s May 2024 iPad event needs to be more than a spec bump - The Verge

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I’ve been reading way too much about the upcoming iPad Pro, and IO would say it is nearly UNANIMOUS among the “pundits” that is a software jolt more than a spec bump that is needed. Even many users feel this way and push back against the vocal “don’t pollute my iPaddyness with MacOS.”

The iPad Pro has been over-powered for its OS since the 2018 A12 (the SAME processor in the ARM demos of MacOS). My hope (expressed at MacWorld) was that the would beef up iPadOS17 next week with dedicated one shelf of Stage Manager for a virtualized MacOS Lite - how’s that for stupid crazy dreaming?

Regardless, the promise of AI “down the road” is not going to move the needle for iPad!

I mostly agree, though the increase in RAM is probably what was needed for us artist types. My 2020 IPP definitely lagged on some larger canvases in the heavier programs like CSP and Illustrator, but so far, my M2 with more RAM is significantly more performant with those programs.

But, outside of creatives, the updates have been very much overkill.

I porked out on the 1tb M1 iPad Pro, so it comes base loaded with 16gb of ram - I’m seriously beginning to believe I just need to hunker down with my M1 Max MBP and M1 iPP and wait for the AI collapse in 2025… :woozy_face: :rofl:

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Don’t worry, Wall Street will find some other horses**t ponzi scheme by then to fleece investors out to their hard (or not so hard) earned cash.

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I know I’ve sung the praises of Lexis AI of late, but I CAN’T get over the feeling that at best this is all just leading to better search results on the Web (aka, the end of Siri “Look what I found - check it out…” with a laundry list of generic web search results). Maybe we could craft a Copilot search request beginning with “COPILOT - I want you to find the answer to the following query but filter out ALL Google and Microsoft promoted advertising responses in YOUR response: [fill in query]”

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One great thing about all the AI buzz is that it killed Bitcoin buzz. For that, I am intensely thankful. :smile_cat:

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What’s funny too is just like ASICs killed GPU shortages during the GPU mining craze, they will kill the GPU pricing madness and cause NVIDIA stock to flatline. The NVIDIA rallying is meme stock territory. Once ASIC NPUs come just like ASIC mining chips came for cryptocurrency, NVIDIA will have to actually cater to their core market again. That said, NVIDIA GPUs are in a strong position. Lately, AMD has been incredibly lazy about their GPU development for the last few years and that is why they are getting their butt kicked by NVIDIA in GPU sales.

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More anecdotal indications that the iPad Pros might have a M4 chip and that at least for the moment, may also be Apple’s lead AI devices.

And IMHO that might make sense both from a marketing standpoint and a way to improve functionality and value. In other words, making it more like a laptop seems to be redundant when you already have the MacBooks

Having a Surface Pro “tablet” fully laptop functional didn’t stop Microsoft from having a Surface Laptop and a Surface Laptop Studio. Nothing wrong with some functional redundancy across lines IMO.

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True, but how’s that REALLY working out for MS? They are still but a rounding error in terms of PC marketshare and of course the almost constant rumors now that MS will pull the plug on the whole line.

Don’t get me wrong, the Surface Pro was/is on of the best PC’s I’ve ever owned, and for me it was a game changer, but ultimately the “ultrabooks” best personified in a couple of iterations by Lenovos Yoga and Dell’s XPS have been far more successful

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