“let loose.” – Keynote Thoughts and Predictions

Apple’s first keynote of the year is penciled in at an odd time, both the fact its at 3pm BST (7am PT) but also its only a month ahead of the already announced WWDC Keynote. This means that anything major with a software story, such as AI, probably won’t get a mention until then.

iPad Pro

The iPad lineup hasn’t seen much love recently, in fact in over a year, with the last update occurring in October 2022. This saw a complete redesign to the (base model) iPad, and the iPad Pro gaining hover support of the Apple Pencil as well as an internal spec bump. Moreover iPad Pro’s physical design has been unchanged since the 3rd generation iPad Pro was introduced in October 2018, but it is set to finally be revamped at this event.

The iPad Pro lineup is set to move completely across to OLED Displays, where currently the 12.9 and 11.1 inch have a Mini LED and LCD display respectively. This will mainly be for the higher contrast/HDR support, maintaining ProMotion but not gain the always on display of the iPhone Pro.

The iPad Pro is also set to see a reduction in its Bezel size as well as being thinner overall, with the selfie Camera moving across to the longer horizontal edge.

Magic Keyboard

The Magic Keyboard hasn’t received any updates since it was introduced in March 2020, at which point it breathed new life into the iPad when its inclusion of at trackpad meant that iPadOS cursor support moved beyond being an accessibility option.

The new Magic Keyboard is set to move to an aluminium enclosure, ditching the cantilever design to allow for greater adjustability of the viewing angle of the attached iPad’s display, in addition to making room for a function row of keys.

Apple Pencil

Apple is set to unveil the 3rd Generation Apple Pencil, that will feature support for a secondary action by squeezing (like the interaction with Air Pod Pro), as well as haptic feedback. More than a secondary action, I would instinctively like the top of the pencil to act as an eraser, but I don’t think we will get both this time round.


Like everyone else this year, Apple is jumping on the AI bandwagon, with WWDC in June set to be full of AI related software announcements. Alongside the upcoming software changes there is a rumour that Apple will also update its hardware to have an AI focus … whatever that means. Moreover the M3 is based on the more expensive N3B 3nm process (when compared to N3E), which is something that Apple will want to move off of as soon as possible. This has lead to the left field rumour that the iPad Pro will be the first Apple Product to ship with the AI optimized M4.

In terms of CPU performance I wouldn’t expect a huge leap from the M3, but the cost savings of moving to the cheaper N3E 3nm process, in addition to tweaking the performance of the chip for AI (e.g. the neural engine) probably justifies the seemingly premature update from the M3, which itself was only introduced in October.

iPad Air

The iPad Air has been waiting even longer than the iPad Pro for an update, last seeing an update in March 2022.

The new iPad Air is set to essentially become the current old iPad Pro, being made available in both the 12.9 and 11.1 sizes and compatible with the existing Magic Keyboard and 2nd Generation Apple Pencil. Unlike the current iPad Pro, the iPad Air will be available in a variety of colors that aren’t just shades of gray.