Special iPadOS 17 version for bigger screens rumor makes no sense

in Future Apple Hardware edited May 2023
In the latest chapter of the on-again off-again saga surrounding iPads larger than the existing iPad Pro, a new leaker suggests that a special version of iPadOS is being developed -- but there's no reason for it to exist.

16-inch iPad could be in the works
16-inch iPad could be in the works

The rumor popped up overnight from relatively new source "Analyst941" on Twitter. In it, the leaker suggests that Apple needs a new and discrete version of iPadOS 17 to support larger screens, and perhaps multiple screens, in 2024.

However, given what Apple has done historically, that doesn't make any sense. When new iPads with different screen resolutions were released, like the original iPad Pro jumping to 12.9 inches versus the standard of 9.7 inches at the time, there was no need for a "special" version of iPadOS.

I've heard there's a special version of iPadOS 17, being developed specifically for larger iPad Pro/Ultra/Studio model(s), there's a slight change that would give the 14.1" model support for up to 2 6K displays at 60hz.

This signals for a definite M3 Pro SoC in the flagship iPad https://t.co/7FcOyaZFdv

-- 941 (@analyst941)
Instead, like in macOS as higher resolution monitors arrive, the existing iPadOS added a new resolution that was supported in the operating system, plus targeted in the virtual device simulator in Xcode. And, that's happened ever since.

The leaker goes on to suggest that the 14-inch or larger iPad Pro models that have been rumored will support multiple monitors. One way to do that would be daisy-chaining (expensive) Thunderbolt displays.

However, for non-Thunderbolt displays that would require Apple to enable multi-stream transport (MST) for multiple displays. The company has not done this yet in MacOS after years of availability since the DisplayPort 1.2 spec launched in 2010.

Neither of these features would require a "special" iPadOS 17 build. Instead, it would just have to leverage what is expected in the M3 chip for multiple monitor support

And as far as the larger iPad Pro rumor goes, that's not at all clear either. Multiple leakers and sources of data from within the supply chain have chimed in on it, with one leaker going to far as to say that there will be a 16-inch iPad Pro hitting the streets in late 2023.

The present conventional wisdom is that Apple has shelved the concept of larger iPad Pros, at least for now.

Instead, the company appears to be working on microLED and OLED displays for the entire iPad product lineup, with timescales depending on which analyst or leaker you prefer.

AppleInsider's stance

The leaker responsible for this rumor accurately predicted information about the Dynamic Island pre-release. However, as of yet, there is not a wide body of accurate work, with the leaker making most of their predictions about the next version of Apple's operating systems expected at WWDC 2023. Only time will tell regarding long-term accuracy.

Apple making a special version of iOS 17 to support larger iPads and multiple monitors is improbable. There's just no reason to do it.

Multiple screen frameworks exist within macOS now. In theory those frameworks -- other than the nonexistent daisy-chaining monitors across MST in DisplayPort -- are easily movable over to iPadOS given the commonalities.

Multiple monitor support on iPadOS seems inevitable, it's just a matter of when, and with what M-series processor. There's just not a reason to "branch" iPadOS 17 to do it, nor any reason to have a special version of the operating system for the larger screen.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 13
    Apple is unlikely to support daisy chaining monitors due to use of retina resolutions, but it might be possible in USB4v2 where there could be a lot more downstream data available. However I think that would require DidplayPort changes and it will take longer then 2024 to support and release compatible monitors.
  • Reply 2 of 13
    aijwsaijws Posts: 13member
    Maybe this would be a Good Time for the MacPad Pro with a Mega Sized Screen for Artists who use the Wacom 24”+ Tablets and Runs a Seamless Combo of BOTH MacOS and iPadOS!

    Run the FULL Versions of Creative Cloud Apps,
    3D Rendering Apps and CAD Apps!

    They could also sell a Flush-Mounted Lazy Susan (LZ) Turntable/Work Station with Variable Angle and Elevation, using a type of Mac Studio Monitor Swing Arm. No Table Needed. Just the LZ in the Middle with enough Fixed Surround to rest your Elbow and Forearms in any Position. Make the Docking area and Arm Rest out of Aluminum for a Giant Heat Sink. 

    Build a Wireless/MagSafe Connector for Power AND Data that allows unlimited Rotation in either Direction when Docked to the LZ. Use a MacStudio for Connection to Additional Monitors.

    It could even be a True Flat Edge-to-Edge Display. No Camera needed. If necessary, have it on one of the Monitors. 

    MacPad Pro - Just for Artists!
    edited April 2023 ravnorodomwilliamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 13
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,464member
    Why is multi-stream transport (MST) not supported on MacOS? Is there a reason for that? I am not even sure what MST really does. What makes it different from other multiple monitor setup? 
  • Reply 4 of 13
    torb9htorb9h Posts: 15member
    When the iPad Pro first launched Apple did reserve some features for the larger Pro, and the smaller pro was less of a Pro device. It’s entirely possible Apple has developed features to take advantage of the larger screen yet again. How does that not make sense? iPadOS needs to advance if the Pros and larger iPads are to be fully utilised the way Apple are positioning them.
  • Reply 5 of 13
    y2any2an Posts: 203member
    I like this style of rumour analysis from AI. It is vastly better than parroting the scuttlebutt and lends a more professional air to the journalism. 
  • Reply 6 of 13
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,585member
    While I’d love a 14.5” iPad Pro, I’m not so sure if this leaker has it right either. I can’t think of why a new version would be needed, or even if there would be anything it would add. Much of this is on the developer. Obviously, if Apple released a larger, higher rez iPad, it would need to be able to practically use that extra rez. But as Mike said, there is a method Apple uses for that, and developers are pretty familiar with it.
  • Reply 7 of 13
    I think in the future Apple will need a 22" iPad Pro Max. There are many cheaper alternative Peloton exercise bikes that don't come with touch screen monitor in order to reduce cost. You just need to attach your own iPad but it's just too small comparing to the 22" monitor on Peloton or NordicTrack. If Apple wants to get serious about Fitness, bring in a 22" iPad Pro Max. It should benefit both at home fitness trainees and artists/designers. And make it foldable so they can take it with them. And then setup a standard interface like CarPlay onto each fitness equipment and call it FitPlay so your biking, rolling and treadmill interface across are all consistency. Peloton had already jump-started the basic concept, Apple can take it further!
    edited April 2023 williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 13
    narwhalnarwhal Posts: 122member
    Since Apple never released touchscreen Macs, it could be these larger-screen iPads will be Apple's new touch-first desktop computers. One of my kids is using a 12.9" iPad Pro with the keyboard cover and pen as a laptop at college, quite happily I might add. I see no reason the iPad OS can't become a desktop OS. Touch targets in iPad apps are already big, there are orders of magnitude more iPad apps, and Mac apps typically DON'T have touch-friendly UX controls.
  • Reply 9 of 13
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,907member
    No need for a separate OS build. iOS scales just fine. 

    Besides, the current iPad Home Screen is so cluttered with widgets, it could stand to gain some screen real estate. 

    No need to add more crust to the apps unless Apple just wants to transition iPad to run macOS. 
  • Reply 10 of 13
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,927member
    Larger virtual screen (for realityOS)
  • Reply 11 of 13
    However, an iPadOS Pro with a decent file management system (like in macOS) and true multitasking would be more than welcome. 
    edited April 2023
  • Reply 12 of 13
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,393member
    Ai keeps saying rumours make no sense or are sketchy when they make a lot of sense. 
  • Reply 13 of 13
    SkepticalSkeptical Posts: 183member
    Maybe Ai makes no sense… Hmmm….
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