All the iPad Trackpad Keyboard Cases You Can Buy

With the release of iPadOS 13.4 in March 2020, Apple introduced official Bluetooth mouse and trackpad support for iPads. The update added support for Apple’s own standalone keyboards, mice and trackpads, as well as third-party input devices. It also paved the way for the release of Apple’s own Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro, which launched ahead of schedule in late April.


Apple’s new Magic Keyboard isn’t the only iPad keyboard case with a built-in multi-touch trackpad, though. In this regularly updated article, we round up all the current all-in-one case options for ‌iPad‌ owners looking to take advantage of keyboard and trackpad input.

1. Apple Magic Keyboard for ‌iPad Pro‌


Starting with Apple’s own, the $300 Magic Keyboard attaches magnetically to ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ and includes a floating design that works on either a lap or a desk, and an integrated trackpad for controlling an onscreen pointer, which allows users to enhance their workflows in multiple ways.

It features cantilevered hinges for smooth adjustments of the viewing angle up to 130 degrees, including a full-size keyboard with backlit keys and a scissor mechanism that delivers 1mm travel. The only real drawback is that the layout lacks a row of function keys, so users have no dedicated key for adjusting some system settings, including keyboard backlight brightness.

USB-C pass-through charging leaves the USB-C port on the ‌iPad Pro‌ free for other accessories. It’s also backwards compatible with both of Apple’s 2018 ‌iPad Pro‌ models, the ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ 12.9-inch (3rd generation) and the ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ 11-inch (1st generation).

The biggest complaint about the new Magic Keyboard has been the weight, which adds quite a lot of bulk to the ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌. In fact, the 12.9-inch model paired with a Magic Keyboard is heavier than a MacBook Air.

12.9″ iPad Pro Magic Keyboard


11″ iPad Pro Magic Keyboard

2. Brydge Plus Pro Keyboard


Long before Apple introduced trackpad support in iOS 13.4, Brydge announced an ‌iPad Pro‌ keyboard with a built-in multi-touch trackpad. The trackpad was originally included to take advantage of the AssistiveTouch features in ‌iPadOS‌, but now that Apple provides broader trackpad support, Brydge allows users to update their device’s firmware to take advantage of the added functionality, using the Bridge Connect app.


The Brydge Plus Pro keyboard attaches to the ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ using a set of hinges that allow the ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌’s angle to be adjusted to suit. Like the ‌iPad Pro‌, it’s made entirely from aluminum, so the two match up well.

The full-size QWERTY keyboard features LED-backlit keys with three levels of brightness. It also features dedicated ‌iPad‌ controls, including a Siri button and options for accessing the Home screen, locking the ‌‌iPad‌‌, adjusting brightness, controlling media playback, and more.

There are cases available for the latest-generation 11-inch and 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ models for $200 and $300 respectively, but unlike Apple’s Magic Keyboard, the Brydge connects via Bluetooth 4.1 instead of the Smart Connector. As such, it has to be charged separately, and has an advertised three-month battery life per charge.

Brydge Pro+ Keyboard

3. Logitech Combo Touch Keyboard Case with Trackpad for ‌iPad‌, ‌iPad‌ Air, and 10.5-Inch ‌iPad Pro‌


Logitech keyboard cases with built-in trackpads for the 10.2-inch ‌iPad‌ and the 10.5-inch ‌iPad‌ Air are both priced at $150. Thanks to design input from Apple, the keyboards connect to the ‌Smart Connector‌ on each ‌iPad‌, meaning no batteries are required. The keyboard case for the 10.5-inch ‌iPad‌ Air is also compatible with the older 10.5-inch ‌iPad Pro‌.

The full-sized keyboards feature an integrated trackpad with Multi-Touch gesture support, backlit keys, a kickback stand with 50-degree tilt, and four usage modes for typing, viewing, reading, and sketching.

There’s also a row of function keys, with other options available for accessing the Home screen, adjusting screen brightness, accessing search, and accessing media controls. The case adds some protection to the ‌iPad‌ and includes a holder for the original Apple Pencil or Logitech Crayon.

Design wise, the keyboard case has a Microsoft Surface look and feel to it thanks to the fabric build, offering full protection for the ‌‌iPad‌‌ except for the section where the keyboard connects. With the keyboard attached, the ‌‌iPad‌‌ is protected when the case is closed up and not in use.

Logitech Combo Touch


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Comparing the 13-Inch MacBook Pro to the MacBook Air and iPad Pro

In the last two months, Apple has refreshed the 13-inch MacBook Air, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, all of which have similarities in performance and functionality.

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In our latest video, we went hands-on with all three of Apple’s new machines for a detailed performance comparison to give MacRumors readers some insight into which device might be the best purchase for their needs.

In This Comparison

We’re comparing base model devices from Apple, with specs and price points below:

  • 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ With Magic Keyboard ($1,350) – A12Z Bionic chip, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage.
  • ‌MacBook Pro‌ ($1,299) – 1.4GHz 8th-generation quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645, 8GB 2133MHz RAM, 256GB SSD.
  • ‌MacBook Air‌ ($999) – 1.1GHz 10th-generation dual-core Intel Core i3 processor, Intel Iris Plus Graphics, 8GB 3733MHz RAM, 256GB SSD.

Note that the ‌iPad Pro‌ is priced at $999, but the Magic Keyboard is a necessary purchase to put it on par with Apple’s laptops as it adds a full keyboard and trackpad. The Magic Keyboard is $350.

The ‌iPad Pro‌ is also available in a smaller 11-inch model that we did not use for this comparison, and pricing on that model starts at $799 for the tablet and $299 for the keyboard.

Design

The ‌MacBook Air‌ and the ‌MacBook Pro‌ are similar in terms of design (and we have a full comparison here), featuring a unibody aluminum casing, dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, 13-inch Retina displays, Magic Keyboards with scissor switch keys, Force Touch trackpads, T2 security chips, and Touch ID.


The ‌MacBook Pro‌ has a brighter display and a Touch Bar, while the ‌MacBook Air‌ has an hour more battery life and it supports up to a 6K display.


The two machines are close to the same size, though the ‌MacBook Air‌ has a tapered design and weighs 2.8 pounds compared to the 3.1 pounds of the ‌MacBook Pro‌.


The ‌iPad Pro‌, of course, is radically different because it is a tablet with a touch screen that morphs into a laptop-like design with the addition of the Magic Keyboard. The Magic Keyboard also has scissor switch keys and a trackpad, though it’s smaller and doesn’t use Force Touch.


The ‌iPad Pro‌ uses Face ID instead of ‌Touch ID‌, and when paired with the Magic Keyboard, it weighs in at 3 pounds, so it’s just about the same weight as the ‌MacBook Pro‌. It’s a lot more versatile than either the ‌MacBook Air‌ or the ‌MacBook Pro‌ though because it can be used without the Magic Keyboard, dropping the weight down to just over a pound.

Benchmark Comparisons

We used Geekbench 5 on all three machines to test the overall performance, and unsurprisingly, Apple’s ‌iPad Pro‌ is the fastest of the bunch. Apple’s modern A-series chips beat out many similar Intel processors, and while Apple is working on Arm-based Macs, we still have a year or so until those are ready to launch.


The ‌iPad Pro‌ earned a single core score of 1116 and a multi-core score of 4686, which was quite a bit higher than the ‌MacBook Pro‌’s single-core score of 859 and multi-core score of 3621.

Both the ‌iPad Pro‌ and the ‌MacBook Pro‌ outperformed the cheaper ‌MacBook Air‌ with its Core i3 processor when it came to multi-core performance, but the ‌MacBook Air‌ won out over the ‌MacBook Pro‌ in single-core performance. The ‌MacBook Air‌ earned a single-core score of 1076 and a multi-core score of 2350.


It’s worth noting that the 13-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ is using older 8th-generation chips that have not been updated, while the ‌MacBook Air‌ has Intel’s latest 10th-generation chips. There are ‌MacBook Pro‌ models that use the new chips, but only in models starting priced at $1,799, which is quite a bit more expensive.

The ‌iPad Pro‌ has Apple’s A12Z chip, which is similar to the A12X chip used in the 2018 iPad Pros, though an extra GPU core has been enabled in the new model to boost performance up just a bit.

Real-World Testing

We also did some real world testing to see how those benchmarking scores translate into actual performance, because how a device performs when being used for everyday tasks is more important than how it benchmarks.

Transferring a 1.3GB video file took five seconds on the ‌MacBook Air‌ and the ‌MacBook Pro‌, and a whopping 50 seconds on the ‌iPad Pro‌ just because the file management on the ‌iPad Pro‌ isn’t as robust as file management on Apple’s Macs.


Exporting a 4K five minute video in Final Cut Pro on the ‌MacBook Pro‌ took 4 minutes and 10 seconds. On the ‌MacBook Air‌, it took 5 minutes and 30 seconds, which is no surprise given that it has a slower CPU and GPU.

There is no Final Cut Pro software on the ‌iPad Pro‌ of course, so there’s no direct comparison to make, but exporting a 4K five minute video in Luma Fusion took just three minutes, which is faster than both the ‌MacBook Pro‌ and the ‌MacBook Air‌.

Software and Feature Considerations

The ‌iPad Pro‌ is more powerful than both the ‌MacBook Air‌ and the ‌MacBook Pro‌ (when it comes to base models) but that doesn’t matter when the ‌iPad Pro‌ just can’t do what some people need.

As mentioned above, for example, there’s no Final Cut Pro on the ‌iPad Pro‌ for video editing purposes, and the same goes for Logic Pro. There’s no Xcode on ‌iPad Pro‌ for app developers, and while the ‌iPad Pro‌ supports multitasking, it’s limited to two apps open and used side by side at one time.


Video quality on the ‌iPad Pro‌ is much, much better because Apple hasn’t upgraded the 720p camera on the MacBooks for years now, which is nice for Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, and other video interactions, though it’s kind of a hassle to use the front-facing camera with the Magic Keyboard attached because it’s located at the top of the ‌iPad Pro‌.

The ‌iPad Pro‌ has a major advantage when it comes to activities like note taking, reading textbooks, making flash cards, and more, thanks to the Apple Pencil integration and the ability to use it in either landscape or portrait mode.

The ‌Apple Pencil‌ is ideal for taking handwritten notes with diagrams and sketches, and reading textbooks is easier in portrait mode than it is on a wider screen.


Creative work can be done on any of the machines, but again, the ‌iPad Pro‌ has an edge for artists because of the ‌Apple Pencil‌ support. Video and audio editing are more limited on ‌iPad Pro‌ for those who are used to software like Final Cut Pro or Logic X, but there are some comparable apps.

Photo editing and graphic design can be done on an ‌iPad‌ using apps like Photoshop and Lightroom, so there are many alternative workflows for people who need to do creative tasks using the ‌iPad‌’s tools.


When it comes to writing documents, browsing the web, and similar tasks, the Magic Keyboard elevates the ‌iPad Pro‌ to the level of the ‌MacBook Air‌ and the ‌MacBook Pro‌ and is vital for those who want a laptop-like machine that’s much more versatile.

Bottom Line

If the ‌iPad Pro‌’s shortcomings in software and multitasking don’t impact your workflow, it’s the most capable of the three, given that it converts from a laptop-style machine to a tablet, supports ‌Apple Pencil‌, and has the fastest performance.

The ‌MacBook Air‌ is the best value of the three because of its $999 price point. It’s the perfect machine for every day tasks like document creation, writing, and web browsing, plus it can also handle video editing, photo editing, and similar tasks (though it’s not the machine to get if you’re looking at exporting large videos all the time or doing super system intensive work).

The ‌MacBook Pro‌ is a more robust machine better suited to tasks that need more CPU and GPU power, but to really take advantage of the ‌MacBook Pro‌’s capabilities, you’d probably need to step up to the $1,799 machine rather than relying on the entry-level model with its older processor.

What are your thoughts on these three machines? Do you have one? Which did you choose and why? Let us know in the comments.

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Some Charging Accessories Not Working With iPad Pro Magic Keyboard

Some USB-C power adapters and cables appear to be unable to charge the iPad Pro through the Magic Keyboard, according to multiple complaints from MacRumors readers.

‌iPad Pro‌ with Magic Keyboard displaying “Not Charging” in the status bar, via MR reader Hallstar

Several new Magic Keyboard owners have noticed that there are issues with the passthrough charging, which can refuse to charge when using a third-party cable or power adapter. From the forums:

Has anyone with the new MK experienced any issues in using the pass-through charging port?

I have tried three different USB-C cables and all result in ‘Not Charging’ being displayed next to the battery icon (See picture).

I have been on the phone to Apple Support for the last hour trying to explain this to them, it would appear to be a hardware issue and they are arranging collection of this one and dispatching a replacement upon receipt of the faulty unit.

MacRumors can confirm that we’ve been unable to charge the ‌iPad Pro‌ using Anker’s PowerPort Atom and Apple’s official USB-C cable. When attempting to charge through the Magic Keyboard’s port using this accessory, the iPad refuses to charge and makes the charging sound every few seconds.

Other forum members have reported being unable to use Anker power adapters and charging cables, as well as charging cables from companies like Mophie.

Still other Magic Keyboard owners have had no issues with their third-party cables, so it appears to be an issue that’s only affecting some power adapters and third-party cable options.

It’s not clear if this is an issue on Apple’s end or on the end of the hardware manufacturers who created the cables and power adapters, so more investigation will be needed to figure out what’s going on. We’ve contacted Anker for more information and will update this article when we hear back.

Magic Keyboard owners who want to charge using the USB-C port on the accessory may need to purchase Apple’s official charging cables and power adapters to ensure proper charging. At least one forum member was told by Apple’s support staff that an Apple USB-C cable is required.

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10 Tips and Tricks for the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard

If you’ve just picked up Apple’s new Magic Keyboard for your 2018 or 2020 iPad Pro, here’s a list of our favorite tips and tricks that you need to know.

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1. Use Your Free USB-C Port

Apple made a neat design decision to integrate a USB-C port into the side of the Magic Keyboard. This lets you power your connected ‌iPad Pro‌ via pass-through charging, leaving your tablet’s onboard USB-C port free to plug in other accessories like an SD card reader or a digital camera. You could even charge an Apple Watch from the free USB-C port, or connect your ‌iPad Pro‌ to an external display.

2. Reclaim the Escape Key

The Magic Keyboard for ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ lacks an Escape key, but there are a couple of ways you can get around this. Try hitting the Command key and the period key in combination. If that doesn’t work in the context that you need an Escape function, you can use an option in iPadOS 13.4 that lets you remap modifier keys for various actions.

settings
To do so, first make sure your Magic Keyboard is connected to your ‌iPad Pro‌, then launch the Settings app and select General -> Keyboard -> Hardware Keyboard. Select the Modifier Keys option, then choose the modifier key that you’d like to use as an Escape key. Choose the Escape action on the next screen, and you’ll be good to go.

3. Gain Quick Access to the Virtual Keyboard


If you need to use the onscreen virtual keyboard to do things like type accented characters or use dictation, tap the down arrow key on your Magic Keyboard, then touch and hold the downward-facing chevron in the bottom-right corner of the iPad’s screen. To hide the keyboard again, tap the key in the bottom-right corner of the screen.

4. Control Touchscreen Actions With Keys


If you have difficulty using your ‌iPad Pro‌’s touchscreen, you can replicate many of the functions and actions using the keys on a Magic Keyboard. With the Magic Keyboard connected, launch the Settings app and select Accessibility -> Keyboards -> Full Keyboard Access.

Toggle on the switch next to Full Keyboard Access, and you’ll be able to control and customize several keyboard shortcuts to replicate a range of functions, movements, interactions, gestures, and more.

5. Adjust Backlight Brightness

Perhaps the only drawback of the Magic Keyboard is that its layout lacks a row of function keys. That leaves users with no dedicated keys for adjusting some system settings, including keyboard backlight brightness.

The Magic Keyboard actually uses the ‌iPad Pro‌’s sensors to detect the lighting in your environment and will adjust the backlit keys accordingly. But if for some reason you find it too bright or too dim, you can adjust this manually. Granted, it’s not as convenient as tapping a key when you want to watch a video with the lights out, but at least it’s there.

settings


Launch the Settings app and select General -> Keyboard -> Hardware Keyboard, then simply drag the Keyboard Brightness slider to the right or left to make the keys brighter or dimmer.

MacStories’ iOS Shortcut magician Federico Viticci has also created a handy shortcut that launches the Hardware Keyboard section of Settings directly. As Viticci suggests, the most convenient way of using it is as a widget on the ‌iPad‌ Home screen.

6. Customize Cursor Behavior


‌iPadOS‌ includes options that let you customize the appearance and behavior of the trackpad’s round cursor. These include increasing the cursor’s contrast, changing its color, making it bigger or smaller, changing scrolling speed, and disabling the auto-hide after inactivity. These settings can be found in the Settings app under Accessibility -> Pointer Control.

7. Tap-to-Click and Two-Finger Secondary Click

If you own a Mac, you’re likely already familiar with Tap to Click. It lets your trackpad register a tap with a single finger as a virtual click, allowing you to do things like launch apps and open menus without physically clicking the pad.


Apple has included the same feature in ‌iPadOS‌ 13.4, so you can use it with your Magic Trackpad. Launch Settings and choose General -> Trackpad, then switch on the toggle next to Tap to Click. Now you can tap the trackpad’s surface with one finger to register a click, instead of having the physically depress the trackpad.

You can also make a two-finger tap or click behave as a secondary click (or right-click, if you’re used to a two-button mouse). Simply enable the Two Finger Secondary Click toggle in the same Trackpad settings screen above.

8. Trackpad Gestures

As you’d expect, the Magic Keyboard supports the new trackpad gestures in ‌iPadOS‌ 13.4. For example, you can enter the Slide Over multitasking interface by moving the cursor over to the right side of the screen or dragging an app over from the Dock.

You can also use two- and three-finger gestures. On the Home screen, for example, a two-finger swipe downwards on your trackpad will bring up Spotlight search. When you’re using Photos, you can pinch in and out to control picture zoom. You can also use two fingers to scroll up or down when navigating a web page in Safari.


Try swiping downwards with three fingers to be taken back to the Home screen no matter what you’re doing on the ‌iPad‌. Likewise, a three-finger swipe up on the trackpad will open up the ‌iPadOS‌ multitasking interface. And swiping to the left or the right with three fingers will also switch between your open apps.

9. Access Emoji Keyboard

It’s easy to access emoji while using the Magic Keyboard. Whenever you’re in typing mode, press the globe key in the bottom-corner of the keyboard layout.


As long as you’re using only English, the emoji keyboard will appear on the screen. To make it disappear again, simply tap the globe key on the keyboard once again.

10. “Easel Mode” and Other Orientations

Hold your ‌iPad Pro‌ in landscape orientation, prop the bottom side against the ridge below the keys, and rest its top side against the Magic Keyboard cover. Now you have a stable elevated drafting stand or “easel,” perfect for drawing.


You can also try this stand trick in portrait orientation for some FaceTime, or whenever you want to have the screen closer to you. It’s not quite as stable, but it works. (Hat tip to MacRumors forum member GrindedDown for this one.)

Alternatively, with the ‌iPad Pro‌ attached in the normal way, try flipping the Magic Keyboard over backwards, then take your iPhone and slip it in between the keyboard and the top of your ‌iPad‌, and you’ll have another decent angle for drawing.

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Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro Reviews and Unboxing Videos

Last week, Apple began accepting orders for its new Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro, several weeks earlier than anticipated. Now, the media has shared several hands-on reviews and unboxing videos of the keyboard on YouTube.

The Magic Keyboard attaches magnetically to the iPad Pro and has a floating cantilevered design that allows the viewing angle to be adjusted up to 130 degrees. In addition to the full-size keyboard with backlit scissor switch keys, there is also a built-in trackpad, taking advantage of trackpad and mouse support added in iPadOS 13.4.

Earlier today, we learned that the combined weight of a 12.9-inch iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard is slightly heavier than the MacBook Air.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Tags: reviews, Magic Keyboard
Buyer’s Guide: 11″ iPad Pro (Buy Now), 12.9″ iPad Pro (Buy Now)

This article, “Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro Reviews and Unboxing Videos” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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First Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro Hands-On Videos Appear Online

The first Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro orders have begun arriving to some customers ahead of schedule, and some have posted hands-on videos online.

Seven videos from two ‌iPad Pro‌ users have appeared online so far, offering the first close look at the new Magic Keyboard for ‌iPad Pro‌.

The first video appeared in Thai, featuring the unboxing experience of the Magic Keyboard. Other videos by the same user have given a look at the USB-C port on the hinge of the Magic Keyboard, which is used for passthrough charging, as well as the brightness of the backlit keys.

There have since been four videos in English by YouTube user MrExitStrategy, covering many of the new key features. The first of these shows the hinge system of the case, which provides a “floating” cantilevered design for smooth viewing angle adjustments of up to 130 degrees.

There is also a look at the preferences pane of the Magic Keyboard in the Settings app, revealing that the keyboard backlighting brightness may be changed manually or automatically adjusted based on ambient lighting conditions.

The most recent video offers a more detailed comparison of the Magic Keyboard with the Smart Folio Keyboard, and walks through some of the new trackpad gestures in iPadOS 13.4. This video suggests that the trackpad uses a mechanical click rather than haptic feedback. The cantilevered design is tested for stability, including for use with Apple Pencil.

Earlier this week, the Magic Keyboard became available for order online alongside the new iPhone SE, and most deliveries are expected to begin arriving next week.

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A12Z Chip in iPad Pro Confirmed to Be Same As A12X, But With Extra GPU Core Enabled

The 2020 iPad Pro models are equipped with an A12Z processor that is the same as the A12X processor in the 2018 ‌iPad Pro‌ models but with an extra GPU core enabled, TechInsights confirmed today.


Speculation that Apple was using the same chip began shortly after the new iPad Pros launched and benchmarks found little in the way of performance improvements.


Apple didn’t highlight changes to CPU performance, but there is one difference – the A12Z features an 8-core GPU, while the A12X has a 7-core GPU.

Information provided in March by TechInsights suggested that the A12X was simply an 8-core GPU chip with one GPU core disabled, indicating the A12Z is a re-binned A12X with that latent GPU core enabled.

At the time, TechInsights said that it planned to conduct a floorplan analysis to determine whether there are any differences between the A12X and the A12Z, which has now been completed, and the GPU chips are the same. A full report on TechInsights findings will be available on its website to those with a subscription.

It is not unusual for chip manufacturers to disable one core of a processor when a chip isn’t meeting yield levels, and that’s perhaps what happened with the A12X. The manufacturing of the chip has now improved enough that yields have gotten better and all 8 cores are functional, resulting in the A12Z chip.


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Complete Anatomy App Will Use LiDAR in iPad Pro to Measure Range of Motion After Injury

Complete Anatomy, an iPad app from 3D4Medical, is designed to teach medical school students human anatomy with a virtual dissectible heart, real-time muscle movement mapping, nerve tracer, and microanatomy models to explore.


In the future, Complete Anatomy will take advantage of the LiDAR Scanner built into the 2020 iPad Pro to add a new feature that will allow healthcare professionals to accurately and instantly assess the range of motion of patients who are recovering from an injury or surgery.

The feature is demoed in a YouTube video featuring Irene Walsh, the chief design officer at Complete Anatomy. According to Walsh, there has been no standardized way to measure range of motion, a problem solved with the ‌iPad Pro‌’s LiDAR Scanner.

Using the new 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌, Complete Anatomy is able to view movements in three dimensions, using motion capture to identify which movement a person is doing. Movements are paired with 3D muscle animations, providing information on the primary muscles required to carry out the action.

Walsh says that the upcoming version of Complete Anatomy on the ‌iPad‌ “has the potential to transform the medical community of the future.”

The LiDAR Scanner feature is coming to the Complete Anatomy app in the near future, though no specific release date is provided. So far, few apps are able to take advantage of the LiDAR Scanner, but previews like these give us an idea of just how powerful of a tool it will be when implemented by developers.

Rumors suggest that iPhones set to be released in 2020 will also include a similar 3D scanning LiDAR feature, which would allow Apple’s iPhones and ‌iPad Pro‌ models to be used for more advanced and exciting augmented reality functions.

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2020 iPad Pro Confirmed to Lack a U1 Ultra Wideband Chip

Last week, we laid out evidence suggesting that the just-released iPad Pro models do not contain a U1 Ultra Wideband chip, including the lack of any mention of the chip in tech specs or Apple’s press materials, the absence of software support for U1 features, and more. Most tellingly, iFixit was unable to find the chip or related antennas in the device.


Daring Fireball‘s John Gruber has followed up on the situation, and he has “confirmed with a little birdie who would certainly know the answer” that the new ‌iPad Pro‌ indeed does not have a U1 chip.

At first blush, it seems surprising that the 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ wouldn’t have a U1 chip when Apple deployed it across the entire iPhone 11 lineup last fall and indicated that it would be the basis for a number of future features. Perhaps the most high-profile rumored feature for the U1 relates Apple’s AirTags item trackers that have yet to launch, with the chip allowing for highly precise locating capabilities.

As discovered by iFixit in its teardown of the new iPad Pro, however, the new model’s internals are nearly identical to those of the 2018 model, down to the logic board layout. Even the new A12Z chip is essentially the previous A12X with a previously disabled graphics core enabled.

Adding a U1 chip to the ‌iPad Pro‌ would have required a redesign of the ‌iPad Pro‌ logic board, and depending on how the U1 interfaces with the device’s main chip, may have required more substantial changes in the A12Z chip itself, perhaps necessitating an all-new A13X chip to support the feature.

The U1 chip also requires associated antennas that wouldn’t play particularly nicely with the ‌iPad Pro‌’s metal chassis. On the ‌iPhone 11‌ series, these antennas require cutouts in the metal case lining, but remain concealed thanks to the glass exterior of the phone.

With rumors of a more substantial iPad Pro refresh as soon as this fall, including at least one mode with an A14X chip and a new mini-LED display, the latest model appears to have been a stopgap update to add some new AR-related capabilities without making a full overhaul of the device, and the addition of a U1 chip and associated hardware may have been required more substantial changes than Apple was willing to invest in for this update.

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Pixelmator Photo for iPad Updates With Trackpad Support, Split View, and Machine Learning Color Matching Feature

Pixelmator Photo for iPad today updated to version 1.2, adding Magic Keyboard, trackpad, and mouse support, as well as a few other features. This release comes after the launch of iOS and iPadOS 13.4, which added support for trackpads and mice on ‌iPad‌.


According to Pixelmator, the new cursor in iPadOS will allow creatives to work “in a whole new way” inside the Pixelmator Photo app. Next month, Apple will launch the new Magic Keyboard with a built-in trackpad, and that accessory will also work with Pixelmator Photo.

Pixelmator Photo 1.2 also introduces Split View and Slide Over support in ‌iPadOS‌. The company also announced that its machine learning feature “ML Match Colors,” which was introduced in Pixelmator Pro, is now available in Pixelmator Photo. This lets users match the look and feel of completely different photos with the help of a machine learning algorithm.

For more information on the update to Pixelmator Photo, be sure to check out the Pixelmator blog.

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