AmberMac Blog

Apple’s May 2024 iPad Event

Apple’s May 2024 event was pretty much entirely focused on iPads and related accessories. The half-hour presentation featured mostly hardware, but we also got to hear a couple of very cool nuggets about updates to the iPadOS versions of Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro. Let’s start with the hardware:

iPad Air

The redesigned iPad Air now comes in an 11″ (starting $599 USD) and a new 13″ (starting $799 USD) screen size – which means it kind of parallels the iPad Pro line now, which is interesting given what a differentiator the 13″ screen was for the Pro. As with the iPad Pro, which we’ll talk about next, the front-facing camera has been moved to the landscape edge of the screen (as opposed to currently at the top of the portrait orientation) for better video conferencing. Related to that, there are now landscape-oriented stereo speakers with spatial audio, and improved bass performance on the 13″. The iPad Air will inherit the M2 chip from a previous iPad Pro with 128 GB starting storage space plus new 512 GB and 1 TB storage sizes. The new iPads work with the old Magic Keyboard and the old and new Apple Pencil (including hover functionality) and are available in traditional starlight or space grey plus new blue and purple options.

iPad Pro

The iPad Pro’s redesign includes a new M4 chip and a new “Tandem OLED” display that combines two OLED panels in order to get unprecedented brightness – there’s even a nano-texture glass option for reduced glare. The 11″ version ($999 USD) is only 5.3 mm thin and 0.98 lbs, whereas the 13″ version is now the thinnest Apple product ever at just 5.1 mm and 1.28 lbs. These both have the camera moved to the landscape edge (and apparently an improved “document scanning” mode to eliminate shadows on the document you’re photographing) and start with double the storage at 256 GB.

Magic Keyboard

The new Magic Keyboard now includes a row of function keys and a larger glass multi-touch trackpad with haptic feedback. It’s available in silver and space black (just like the iPad Pro) and costs $299 USD for the 11″ version and $349 USD for the 13″.

Apple Pencil Pro

The new Apple Pencil Pro adds sensors in the “barrel” of the pencil to allow for new interactions. Squeezing the barrel now provides haptic feedback and will open up a new tool pallet, whereas a gyroscope now allows you to rotate the Pencil (“barrel roll”) to affect the orientation of the brush you’re using. It also supports Find My in case you misplace it, and costs a reasonable $129 USD.

iPadOS: Final Cut Pro 2

Maybe the most exciting announcement to me was that a new version of Final Cut Pro for iPad will now allow you to connect and preview up to four iPhone or iPad cameras simultaneously, allowing for muti-camera shoots via a new Final Cut Camera app (which manages the connecting). That’s extremely cool and pretty transformative for the iPad as video production tool.

iPadOS: Logic Pro 2

Almost as exciting for me is that Apple’s awesome AI drummer feature is being expanded in Logic Pro 2 to add other “session players”, including bass and keyboards (I imagine this will continue to expand, as it’d be pretty great to have an AI horn section to jam/record with). As a former professional bassist, this is both fascinating (I cannot wait to play with it) and terrifying (because I really do like human players). Another cool AI-drive enhancement is the new Logic Pro Stem Splitter, which will let you extract individual tracks for voice, bass, drums, etc., from an already-mixed recording. Unbelievable addition for sampler folks.

Anything Else?

The iPad 10th generation has had its price reduced to $349 USD and no updates for the iPad Mini. See you next for the WWDC 2024 keynote!