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Apple announces the new iPad Pro, MacBook Air

Apple announces the new iPad Pro, MacBook Air

Apple brings LiDAR and trackpad support to a powerful new iPad Pro and a new keyboard layout to a faster and more stored MacBook Air.

Apple has announced both its new iPad Pro with 3D camera and a new $ 999 MacBook Air model with a magic keyboard, introducing both new products with a few press releases, instead of the March event that was originally expected to take place.

The new iPad Pro

Apple’s new iPad Pro offers a number of new features, including a LiDAR scanner and, as expected, trackpad support in the form of the new backlit Magic keyboard.

The new professional tablet has an A12Z Bionic chip, a much faster version of the processor it placed in the iPhone XS series of smartphones and «faster than most Windows computers,» the company kindly noted.

The company was expected to use an iPhone 11 processor. The 11- and 12.9-inch models are available with Wi-Fi and cellular and sales options.

The new MacBook Air

Available from $ 999, the new MacBook Air abandons the butterfly keyboard in favor of the new Magic keyboard now used in Apple MacBook Pro models.

The new system is twice as powerful as the latest MacBook Air and offers twice as much storage as before.

More about the improved iPad Pro

The new iPad Pro is available to order starting today.

Add an Ultra Wide camera, studio-quality microphones and a LiDAR scanner. The latter provides the system with depth detection capabilities, with a particular focus on creating and consuming augmented reality (RA) experiences.

«The new iPad Pro introduces advanced technologies that have never been available in mobile computing,» said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of global marketing.

In iOS 13.4, Apple has also introduced support for trackpads on the iPad. This does not work exactly like on a Mac.

Instead, the company thought about how this type of system can work in a relevant way on a touch device. This support extends to Multi-Touch gestures, the idea is that when you use the device, you can keep your hands on the keyboard for a more productive experience.

The company says this: «As users move their finger on the trackpad, the indicator transforms elegantly to highlight the elements of the user interface.»

The performance is good. The A12Z Bionic’s eight-core GPU promises the highest performance ever seen on an iPad. Battery life is 10 hours and (also, as expected), faster Wi-Fi connectivity and gigabit-class LTE ensure better network connectivity.

The tablets have a Liquid Retina edge-to-edge display with True Tone, support for wide P3 colors and 120Hz Pro Motion technology.

The 12 MP camera captures 4K photos and videos and now includes an ultra-wide 10 MP camera that shrinks twice to capture a much wider field of view.

These are also pretty good podcasting systems. These iPads now offer five studio-quality microphones for sound capture, along with a four-speaker sound that intelligently adapts to any orientation.

More about the new Magic keyboard

Apple also unveiled a new backlit Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro with trackpad. It has hinges in the console, which allow uniform adjustments of the viewing angle of up to 130 degrees.

When used with the trackpad, the cursor appears as a circle highlighting UI elements, text fields, and applications on the Home screen and Dock. The idea is that it provides a clear indication of what users can click. Gesture management is designed to make it easier to switch between applications, access the application switch, and enable Dock, Control Center, and applications in Slide Over.

Apple has also thought about how to use trackpads to manage applications on the device. Most third-party applications benefit from this without code changes, although Apple has introduced new APIs that developers can use to create new application experiences.

The Magic keyboard has USB-C transfer charging. It will not be available until May.

What about the LiDAR scanner?

The importance of the LiDAR scanner is worth exploring.

The camera, which works both indoors and outdoors, can measure the distance to surrounding objects at a distance of up to 5 meters at nanosecond speeds.

To make this information really useful, Apple has developed new in-depth frameworks in the iPadOS. They combine LiDAR information with data from cameras and motion sensors, and then enhance this information with computer vision algorithms for a more detailed understanding of a scene.

What this means is that ARKit applications automatically get instant AR location, improved motion capture, and human occlusion.

For developers, Apple has created a new Scene Geometry API that they can use to create new varieties of AR environments.

More prosaically, the LIDAR scanner allows the Measure application to calculate someone’s height and measure objects more accurately. The measure gains a vision of leadership.

Availability and price

The new iPad Pro is available to order starting today.

The 11-inch model starts at $ 799 for the Wi-Fi model and $ 949 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model.

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $ 999 for the Wi-Fi model and $ 1,149 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model.

iPadOS 13.4 with trackpad support will be available on March 24 as a free software update for all models of iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later and iPad mini 4 and later .

This is a developing story; Please come back for more information.