Apple to Bring Facial Recognition to iPad, Report Says - Page 2

This is an area where Microsoft has been competing very strongly in what had been a core area for Apple. The stylus for Windows 10 tablets, along with a wealth of drawing software and strong operating system support have opened up a broad market for the Surface tablet among creative users.

Because the Surface tablet has a well-designed stylus and because other vendors are marketing similar products, using Windows 10 for drawing and other graphics applications has become more widely accepted. Apple, meanwhile, left the iPad Pro and its Pencil to languish for a year and a half before a replacement came along, and even then the Pencil remained essentially unchanged.

Now that Apple has seen the iPad gain favor in the eyes of business users, the company has started spending time and money on tablet development. But that doesn’t mean the next iPad will simply be a bigger iPhone with the same features.

One feature of the iPhone X that probably won’t find its way into the iPad is the OLED screen. It’s already expensive to make OLED screens the size of the iPhone X. To make an OLED screen to fit the iPad Pro would be really expensive and it would require high buyer demand to justify the cost. It’s not clear that demand exists.

Likewise, it’s not clear that you’ll see the glass back or wireless charging on the new iPad. The glass back, which is required for wireless charging, would be fairly fragile in the sizes required for a tablet and iPad are more subject to drops and falls since they don't spend a lot of time inside the cozy confines of someone’s pocket.

I’m not sure that it makes a lot of sense to toss a fragile tablet onto the floor of an aircraft’s cockpit or into the back of a survey crew’s pickup truck, but those are important use cases for iPads. It's important that the new iPad Pros or any table be able to survive a sometimes rough and tumble work environment.

It’s also hard to see how you’d make wireless charging work even if you could get past the fragility of the glass back. Most available wireless chargers are too small to support an iPad, and you’d need that for daily use. However, there are wireless chargers in development that don’t need to have the device on top of or adjacent to the charger, so there is hope for the future of wireless charging in iPads.

I do think you’ll see other improvements that are needed in a workplace tablet. Perhaps we’ll even see a water-resistant iPad. Now that’s an improvement that’s really needed.

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...