Apple announced a bunch of new iPads in 2021, including the first iPad Pros with its M1 chipset, a completely redesigned iPad mini and an updated entry-level iPad. Of course, now that we're at the year's end, rumors are running rampant about what's going to come next — here's what you need to know.
The first iPad Pro that wireless charges
2018 was a big year for the iPad because, for the first time, Apple ditched the Lightning port in favor of the USB-C with the release of the 2018 iPad Pro. Well, it looks like 2022 is set to be another monumental year for the iPad when it comes to charging technology. According Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, the 2022 iPad Pro is set to have a new glass back that supports wireless charging. It's unclear if the 2022 iPad Pro will have a MagSafe-like magnetic connection. It's also unclear if it will support reverse wireless charging (to charge to your other Apple devices), but given that the new MagSafe Battery Pack does not, it's probably unlikely that Apple really trusts that technology yet.
An updated iPad Air
The 2020 iPad Air didn't get an update in 2021 so it's pretty much a given that it's set to get one in 2022. As to how big of an update, however, that's the big question. The iPad Air was completely redesigned in 2020 to look and work like an iPad Pro, just without the super high-end features (like a ProMotion display and the advanced camera system), so it's likely that the refresh to the iPad Air in 2022 will be pretty minimal. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, the 2022 iPad Air will have pretty much the same design as the current iPad Air, but it'll be updated with a lot iPad mini's new features, including a new processor (likely A15 Bionic or later), a camera that supports Center Stage, and 5G connectivity.
A 15-inch entry-level iPad
Per usual, you can expect Apple to release a refreshed version of its entry-level iPad this year. It's unlikely that Apple will give the 2022 model a drastically new design (or abandon the old features like the Home button or support for the first-generation Apple Pencil), but we could be getting a different, larger model. In additional to the 10.2-inch iPad, Gurman has said that Apple is working in a 15-inch iPad to rival the larger smart displays, like Amazon's Echo Show, Google's Nest Hub Max and even Facebook's Portal+.
No OLED iPad...yet.
It was thought that 2022 would be the year of the first iPad with an OLED display. Apple brought OLED displays to the last two iPhones — both iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lines have OLED displays — but has opted for mini-LED dispalys for the most recent M1 iPad Pros and M1 MacBook Pros. (For context, mini-LED and OLED displays are pretty similar, but mini-LED displays get brighter and are more durable while OLED displays boast superior contrast and are better at dealing with fast motion, such as live-action sports or gaming.) However, according to the latest reports by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, we'll have to wait until 2023 for an OLED iPad.