What to expect from Apple’s iPad event

Thrills? Chills? iPads? Definitely yes on that last one, at least. The invites are out and the rumors have been pouring in, fast and furious. On Tuesday October 30, the company will be wrapping up hardware season with one final event, hitting all of the points that didn’t quite make it into September’s big iPhone event.

As ever, the company’s attempting to keep a tight seal on the news, but we’ve got plenty of clues to work from here. For starters, there’s the fact that the “special event” is being held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House. It’s a cool space. I saw Jeff Mangum do a bunch of shows there, NBD. 

Also, the company customized dozens (hundreds?) of designs for the event, sending out customized invites to everyone on its list. Thanks Apple! You really know how to make a tech blogger special. The through line, however, was the tag line, “There’s More in the Making.” All of which implies that the company is once again turning the camera back on creative pros.

That certainly comports with the rumors we’ve heard thus far, which largely focus on the iPad Pro and a slew of new MacBooks. So let’s start with the easy one.

A new iPad Pro is all but a given at this point. The device is expected to get a pretty thorough makeover, starting with some key design changes. The biggest news on that front borrows some cues from the last couple of iPhones, dramatically reducing the bezels on all sides (while keeping them present so there’s a place to put your hands).

That’s thanks, in part, to the elimination of the home button, a rumored change that would also anticipate the arrival of Face ID to unlock the handset. Inside, the device is expected to get the new A12 chip, which debuted on the iPhone XS. An update to the Pencil also appears to be in the works?

While the entry-level iPad was refreshed at an education event in Chicago this year, rumors of an iPad Mini 5 have been floated by human Apple crystal ball, Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo also predicts, get this, the long-awaited arrival of AirPower. Apple’s three-in-one iPhone/Watch/AirPod charging pad has been MIA since the company debuted it at WWDC of LAST YEAR. The mat is reported to finally be hitting later this year or early next, along with new AirPods. Among other things, the update to the popular Bluetooth earbuds will sport a new case with, naturally, wireless charging and a color indicator on the outside.

And then there are the Macs. Rumors have up to four new Apple computers hitting the stage on the 30th. The Mac Mini and iMac are the frontrunners here, along with the even longer-awaited MacBook Air refresh, sporting a Retina Display, priced at below the standard MacBook.

And for good measure, how about an update on the Mac Pro? Last we heard, it’s coming next year. So why not feature it as a “one more thing” at this creative pro-focused event? The event kicks off Tuesday October 30, at 10AM ET.