iOS 12.1 beta points to 4K external display support on new iPad Pros

Posted:
in iPad
The latest discovery in the iOS 12.1 beta is that the software appears to support 4K external displays -- something impossible on any current iOS device, even when using Apple's HDMI adapter.

iOS Simulator


This may support the idea that upcoming iPad Pros will offer USB-C, developer Steve Troughton-Smith suggested on Twitter. A virtualized 4K option appears when running Apple's iOS Simulator, used to test out iPhone and iPad apps.

Apple is widely expected to introduce new iPad Pros this fall, possibly in October. Specifically the company should deliver updated 10.5- and 12.9-inch models with faster processors, edge-to-edge LCDs, and Face ID. This is supported by other code strings in iOS 12.1, including one for Face ID in landscape mode, and another labelled "iPad2018Fall."

Less certain though is whether the tablets might support USB-C, whether replacing or in addition to Lightning. The former may be unlikely, since it would be inconsistent with Apple's latest iPhones while simultaneously demanding a new collection of accessories.

At the same time it would help distinguish the tablets as true "pro" hardware, thanks not just to 4K but USB-C's faster 10-gigabit transfer rate, and support for power up to 100 watts.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    I really think that the differentiation between the iPad and iPad Pro will be that the latter uses USB-C and Apple may also start to head into the docking station direction for that. You could then connect various USB peripherals, 4K display, networking, etc, I think the real question then becomes if Apple will support a mouse interface for iOS. I don’t see why they couldn’t and just treat it as a virtual touch. Of course the other “killer feature” is that the external screen would have to not just mirror the display, but allow a second window. Based on changes I’ve seen in that area, I think it’s only a matter of time.
    radarthekat1983watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 23
    I think an iPad with no bezzel like the iPhone X would enable it to be truely used in any orientation and therefore could feasably have a lightning port on one side an a USB C on the other. That way you can still use all current accessories and use any new stuff just as well, plus you could use both at the same time, greatly increasing its capabilities and making it a proper Pro tablet.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 23
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,806member
    USB Type-C is a port/connector specification, it is not a data bus protocol. USB 3.1 supports as described above. Apple could update Lightning to support much faster data rates and in theory also support USB 3.1 (or 3.2) via a Lightning-to-USB-C dongle.

    One of the main points of Lightning was to be able to dynamically adapt without the need of changing the connector/port. This was the "future-proof" design talked about when it was released.

    I can see Apple continuing to use the Lightning connector and simply allowing 3rd parties to design docks, dongles and adapters with different ports... USB-A, USB-C, HDMI, Ethernet, SD Card, 3.5mm Stereo, etc.
    edited September 2018 Metriacanthosaurusfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 23
    I currently charge my iPad Pro 10.5 inch with a Lightning to USB-C cable (to a MacBook adapter). I see no reason a similar updated USB 3.1 cable working similarly could not be provided. Accordingly, the port itself will likely remain Lightning.  A dongle that allows connecting a monitor and charging will likely also be available. 
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 23
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,152member
    There was a “leaked” case design out a little while back that had a hole in the back (just “above” the Lightning port on the back of the case) that would have been the right size for a USB-C port ... it was widely misinterpreted as a Smart Connector hole, but it couldn’t be that (smart connectors are flush with the body). https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/08/24/ipad-pro-cover-leak-shows-opening-for-rumored-new-smart-connector-location
    Metriacanthosaurusradarthekat
  • Reply 6 of 23
    I think an iPad with no bezzel like the iPhone X would enable it to be truely used in any orientation and therefore could feasably have a lightning port on one side an a USB C on the other. That way you can still use all current accessories and use any new stuff just as well, plus you could use both at the same time, greatly increasing its capabilities and making it a proper Pro tablet.
    There is no way it has both. It would confuse the shit out of users. They are way too similar.

    I won't rule out the possibility of iPad Pro dropping Lightning for USB-C if Apple has a good reason to...but it is very unlikely. No good reason has ever been demonstrated. Even this article, despite its attempts to, does not mention a single thing that can't be done so long as Lightning is the connector.
    StrangeDaysmac_128Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 23
    I just hope that the ability to utilize an iPad as an extended screen on a laptop is available.  I've used DuetDisplay since it was introduced, and it worked perfectly until a few updates ago to High Sierra.   Hopefully Mojave and/or the updated iPad Pro (and iOS12) will resolve the issues and make this a built in feature (or at least allow DuetDisplay to work again).
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 23

    At the same time it would help distinguish the tablets as true "pro" hardware, thanks not just to 4K but USB-C's faster 10-gigabit transfer rate, and support for power up to 100 watts.
    USB-C is a connector, not a data transfer protocol. USB 3.1 gen 2 is 10Gbps, but I don’t know why you’d need a USB-C connector versus Lightning to use USB 3.1 gen 2 in a future iPad, just like when they upgraded the iPad Pro Lightning port to handle USB 3.0. 
    edited September 2018 1983watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 23
    emoeller said:
    I just hope that the ability to utilize an iPad as an extended screen on a laptop is available.  I've used DuetDisplay since it was introduced, and it worked perfectly until a few updates ago to High Sierra.   Hopefully Mojave and/or the updated iPad Pro (and iOS12) will resolve the issues and make this a built in feature (or at least allow DuetDisplay to work again).
    https://lunadisplay.com/
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 23
    There is no way Apple is changing over to a USB-C port. ZERO reason to do so!!! There's still cable issues with USB-C.

    Now I can see Apple including a USB-C to Lighting Cable and include a Fast Charger with the iPad, and stop with forcing people to buy that stuff separately.

    But still, External, maybe that's 4K AirPlay to a 4K AppleTV? Apple is all about going Wireless as much as they can. Why a silly adapter and a cable going to the display?
    edited September 2018 fastasleepmac_128Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 23
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,695member
    jkichline said:
    I really think that the differentiation between the iPad and iPad Pro will be that the latter uses USB-C and Apple may also start to head into the docking station direction for that. You could then connect various USB peripherals, 4K display, networking, etc, I think the real question then becomes if Apple will support a mouse interface for iOS. I don’t see why they couldn’t and just treat it as a virtual touch. Of course the other “killer feature” is that the external screen would have to not just mirror the display, but allow a second window. Based on changes I’ve seen in that area, I think it’s only a matter of time.
    I'd be very impressed with Apple if that USB-C connector supported TB mode.   In one move they would have hardware that could actually replace laptops like they like to believe the current models do.   They still need to workout solutions to the software problems on IOS but that is just a matter of being willing.
    radarthekat
  • Reply 12 of 23
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,695member
    mjtomlin said:
    USB Type-C is a port/connector specification, it is not a data bus protocol. USB 3.1 supports as described above. Apple could update Lightning to support much faster data rates and in theory also support USB 3.1 (or 3.2) via a Lightning-to-USB-C dongle.

    One of the main points of Lightning was to be able to dynamically adapt without the need of changing the connector/port. This was the "future-proof" design talked about when it was released.

    I can see Apple continuing to use the Lightning connector and simply allowing 3rd parties to design docks, dongles and adapters with different ports... USB-A, USB-C, HDMI, Ethernet, SD Card, 3.5mm Stereo, etc.
    Apple was deeply involved in the development of USB-C so I suspect that iPad was a target a long time ago.   The interesting thing here wouldn't be USB3.1 but rather TB running over that port.   Rumors have it that engineers at Apple are calling this the next generation iPad, that could be bluster but if they really want a next generation device a really fast and flexible port is required.   I'm just hoping Apple avoid the verification feature that the USB-C spec supports, MyFi needs to die at Apple.
  • Reply 13 of 23
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,695member
    I think an iPad with no bezzel like the iPhone X would enable it to be truely used in any orientation and therefore could feasably have a lightning port on one side an a USB C on the other. That way you can still use all current accessories and use any new stuff just as well, plus you could use both at the same time, greatly increasing its capabilities and making it a proper Pro tablet.
    There is no way it has both. It would confuse the shit out of users. They are way too similar.

    I won't rule out the possibility of iPad Pro dropping Lightning for USB-C if Apple has a good reason to...but it is very unlikely. No good reason has ever been demonstrated. Even this article, despite its attempts to, does not mention a single thing that can't be done so long as Lightning is the connector.
    Producers of low volume hardware simply will not build hardware to plug into Lightning.   By low volume I mean stuff that might sell in the thousands a year sometimes hundreds of thousands.   Things like Signal analyzers, Oscilloscope modules, Engine analyzers, development systems, PLC interfaces, CNC interfaces, Many types of automation products and sensors.   The fact is iPad misses out on a lot of really interesting uses, uses where it would be ideal, simply because it has a port small companies can't support rationally.
    1983
  • Reply 14 of 23
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,695member
    jbdragon said:
    There is no way Apple is changing over to a USB-C port. ZERO reason to do so!!! There's still cable issues with USB-C.

    Now I can see Apple including a USB-C to Lighting Cable and include a Fast Charger with the iPad, and stop with forcing people to buy that stuff separately.

    But still, External, maybe that's 4K AirPlay to a 4K AppleTV? Apple is all about going Wireless as much as they can. Why a silly adapter and a cable going to the display?
    Wireless is not always the most reliable approach to a communications or power issue.   It would be great if it where to happen for some use cases but there are just as many use cases where wireless does nothing for the application.   I've seen iPads used in all sorts of places where a plain old wired connection is the smart approach.   Just one example are iPads programmed to be a time card machine replacements.  
    Alex1N
  • Reply 15 of 23
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,376member
    chasm said:
    There was a “leaked” case design out a little while back that had a hole in the back (just “above” the Lightning port on the back of the case) that would have been the right size for a USB-C port ... it was widely misinterpreted as a Smart Connector hole, but it couldn’t be that (smart connectors are flush with the body). https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/08/24/ipad-pro-cover-leak-shows-opening-for-rumored-new-smart-connector-location
    I can't see Apple ever allowing a USB-C cord to be plugged in perpendicular to the back of the iPad, nor is the iPad thick enough to accommodate the port if they did. My guess is that it is indeed a smart connector which will ultimately be the only way to make a physical connection with an iOS device.

    wizard69 said:
    jbdragon said:
    There is no way Apple is changing over to a USB-C port. ZERO reason to do so!!! There's still cable issues with USB-C.

    Now I can see Apple including a USB-C to Lighting Cable and include a Fast Charger with the iPad, and stop with forcing people to buy that stuff separately.

    But still, External, maybe that's 4K AirPlay to a 4K AppleTV? Apple is all about going Wireless as much as they can. Why a silly adapter and a cable going to the display?
    Wireless is not always the most reliable approach to a communications or power issue.   It would be great if it where to happen for some use cases but there are just as many use cases where wireless does nothing for the application.   I've seen iPads used in all sorts of places where a plain old wired connection is the smart approach.   Just one example are iPads programmed to be a time card machine replacements.  
    It doesn't have to be wireless. It could be a smart connector which allows data transmission at the current USB 2.0 speeds where wireless was not an option. If I had to guess, that's how Apple will handle the removal of the Lightning port in the future -- at least on the iPhone. The iPad, on the other hand may one day get USB-C to bring it in line with the Macs as a computing device, something the iPhone will never get, but only when the Lightning connector is no longer necessary on any iOS device.
    edited September 2018 Alex1N
  • Reply 16 of 23
    4K via AirPlay is finally coming?!  ;)  
  • Reply 17 of 23
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,152member
    While I would not be surprised to see Apple add a USB-C port to the iPad Pro, what I'd personally like to see is a retooled Lightning port that can match USB-C's ability with power, data, and video. If Lightning isn't capable of being revamped to up its game (and there's zero proof of that), then at some near point Apple should probably retire it.
  • Reply 18 of 23
    chasm said:
    While I would not be surprised to see Apple add a USB-C port to the iPad Pro, what I'd personally like to see is a retooled Lightning port that can match USB-C's ability with power, data, and video. If Lightning isn't capable of being revamped to up its game (and there's zero proof of that), then at some near point Apple should probably retire it.
    Never happen!   You know Apple clings to obsolete technology like forever...      /s
  • Reply 19 of 23
    thttht Posts: 3,062member
    FYI, the Apple TV 4th gen has a USBC port, an Ethernet port, and an HDMI port. The Apple TV 4K has an HDMI and Ethernet port. If the Fall 2018 iPad Pros have a USBC port, it won’t be the first iOS device to have it, nor be the first iOS device to support external 4K monitors. ;)

    Wonder why someone hasn’t hacked the Apple TV 4K to run Linux. It has an A10X SoC with 3 GB in it. The CPU and GPU in it are faster than anything else in its price class I think.

    Anyways, I’m hoping for 2 ports (among a bunch a other things), don’t care whether Lightning or USBC. The OG iPad had a prototype with 2 30-pin ports in it so that it could be placed in portrait or landscape in the then keyboard dock, or whatever rationale that drove Apple to prototype it. Too bad they decided to not move forward with that design.
  • Reply 20 of 23
    nhtnht Posts: 4,393member
    wizard69 said:
    I think an iPad with no bezzel like the iPhone X would enable it to be truely used in any orientation and therefore could feasably have a lightning port on one side an a USB C on the other. That way you can still use all current accessories and use any new stuff just as well, plus you could use both at the same time, greatly increasing its capabilities and making it a proper Pro tablet.
    There is no way it has both. It would confuse the shit out of users. They are way too similar.

    I won't rule out the possibility of iPad Pro dropping Lightning for USB-C if Apple has a good reason to...but it is very unlikely. No good reason has ever been demonstrated. Even this article, despite its attempts to, does not mention a single thing that can't be done so long as Lightning is the connector.
    Producers of low volume hardware simply will not build hardware to plug into Lightning.   By low volume I mean stuff that might sell in the thousands a year sometimes hundreds of thousands.   Things like Signal analyzers, Oscilloscope modules, Engine analyzers, development systems, PLC interfaces, CNC interfaces, Many types of automation products and sensors.   The fact is iPad misses out on a lot of really interesting uses, uses where it would be ideal, simply because it has a port small companies can't support rationally.
    Not really.  If a company wanted to make their devices compatible with the iPad you can do Lightning to USB.


    https://www.cultofmac.com/498542/how-to-use-usb-hub-multiple-devices-ipad/
    fastasleep
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