Next premium iPad Pro could learn a lesson from the budget 10th gen iPad — moving the Face ID camera to a landscape position

iPad Pro 12.9-inch in iMore freelancer's office
(Image credit: Future/Lloyd Coombes)

Apple released the iOS 17.4 beta yesterday, which will not only bring alternative App Stores to the EU soon but hints towards a new iPad Pro that has its Face ID camera moved from the top of the tablet to the side.

According to Steve Moser on X, code in the newest update shows a bunch of messages that allude to the iPad’s camera being in a different place to its usual portrait-oriented position. Lines such as “During Face ID setup, iPad needs to be in landscape with the camera at the top of the screen," are included in 17.4. With the iPad Pro being the only tablet with a Face ID camera, it’s not a stretch to assume that this message is meant for an upcoming, unannounced model, with a camera positioning shift.

The 10th-generation iPad was the first to introduce this camera change back in October 2022, which made it easier for users to be centered when on a FaceTime call — and because many users keep their iPad in landscape mode for use with keyboard accessories, it makes sense to see the camera move to the side.

The next iPad Pro is also rumored to have an OLED 13-inch display, which will result in a brighter screen compared to the MicroLED technology that’s in the current 12.9-inch iPad Pro. This new model is expected to be coming in March, so we might not have long to wait to see if this new tablet has its camera in a different place.

These improvements mean nothing without a major update to iPadOS — iMore’s take

It’s great that the iPad line will finally get some love in 2024 if these rumors come true. If you’ve been waiting with bated breath to see the iPad Pro’s camera move from one place to another, this could be the tablet for you.

Yet I will still keep shouting the following narrative from the green hills, as I have been for the past year at iMore — let’s see some big improvements in iPadOS 18 instead. The software that powers the iPad pales in comparison to what you can do in macOS. Granted, Stage Manager saw some welcome improvements in iPadOS 17 — but, say if I want to record an episode of The iMore Show with an iPad, it’s impossible. I can’t record my side of the audio and record a call with my co-host at the same time. It’s a basic feature that can’t be done on an iPad.

But it doesn’t stop there. The Files app is a cheap imitation of Finder on macOS — let’s see it be the center of iPadOS, letting me can share files and media more easily.

Control Center is still, bizarrely, in its own area, and you can barely customize it. Let’s see it be part of the multitasking tray when you swipe up, and have some quick-access widgets there too.

I could go on, but a camera in a different place and a new display are in no way appealing to users who have owned an iPad Pro for the past several years. The priority needs to be a major iPadOS overhaul, in my opinion.

More from iMore

Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.

Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.

  • dstrauss54
    I agree 100%. Although OLED and the horizontal mounted camera will be thankful additions, the iPad Pro (now with M3) is SCREAMING for MacOS, even if it is only a virtualized option for advanced users. I am getting tired of the opposition, at both Apple and among some users, to not "spoil" their pure iPad experience. It down's have to if it is an option for advanced users. The "pure iPad" folks can continue to live in their safe iPad environment, but let the rest of us either dual boot or virtualize MacOS so we can use our iPad's both ways. Surely Apple is not just protecting its profits (two sales instead of one) while using the same hardware in the iPad that is now in the base MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, and Mac Mini? I'm sure all of us dreaming of a 2-in-1 solution will pay the upcharge for the lost profit portion (unless that margin over hardware is stratospheric).
  • FFR
    I never heard anyone label the status quo as opposition.

    Normal iPad Pro user here, will defiantly be picking up one of the new tandem oled iPads pro in March or April. iPadOS ftw .