Apple’s iPad could drop the home button and add Face ID in 2018

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Apple is reportedly working on a redesign of the iPad that includes dropping the Home button and slimming down the bezels on the top-end model, as well as adding facial recognition tech to allow for Face ID unlocking and more. Bloomberg says the redesigned iPad could make its consumer debut as early as next year.

The upgraded tablet would likely sit at the top of the iPad line, which would probably make it an iPad Pro, and would not pack in an OLED screen in addition to the other changes it would inherit from the iPhone X. It’s said to be similar in size to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, at least (no word yet on a 12.9 version), with a release date late in the year.

Dropping the home button on the iPad would allow for a larger screen in the same physical footprint. Apple already reduced the thickness of the edges on the 10.5-inch version vs. the 9.7-inch model it replaced, to maximize screen real estate, and it could go further still with additional space savings from reducing the ‘chin’ of the front of the device.

Making OLED displays at scale for the new iPad would be too much of a technical and financial hurdle, according to the report, hence it not making the jump from iPhone X to iPad. But Face ID for unlocking will make its iPad debut, per Bloomberg’s sources, along with improved internal specs, and a brand new version of the Apple Pencil.

The report makes no mention of a ‘notch’ design that would eliminate most of the top bezel, as well. It’s possible that this wouldn’t make as much sense on a larger device like this which is often used for consuming video in landscape format.

Obviously, Apple taking the technical achievements of its iPhone X and spreading them around its other products was bound to happen, but if it really is in the next iPad revision then Apple’s moving pretty quickly to capitalize on its main iPhone X innovations.