Apple's Next-Gen iPad mini To Ditch Home Button, Big iPad Pro Upgrade Rumored For 2022

ipad mini
Apple's iPad tablets are the most popular on the consumer market, but that doesn't mean that development on the devices should come to a standstill. Apple's iPad mini has been around for a long time and hasn't seen any significant design updates in six years. Sure, there have been upgrades to performance and support for the Apple Pencil, but it's the same old song and dance from the outside.

A new report suggests that the iPad mini will receive its most extensive makeover in history later this year. Like how the iPad Air received a dramatic redesign last year with thinner bezels, the next-generation iPad mini is rumored to get the same treatment. The slimmer bezels also mean that the long-serving Home button is being removed.

Previous rumors have suggested that a redesigned iPad mini with thinner bezels could boost the current 7.9-inch display to 8.5 or even 9 inches. For comparison, the standard iPad has a 10.1-inch display. The lack of a Home button means that the iPad mini would likely adopt Touch ID on the power button, as we've seen with the iPad Air. We imagine that Apple would reserve Face ID for its more expensive iPad Pro family of tablets.

ipad pro
Apple iPad Pro (2021)

Speaking of the iPad Pro, the same Bloomberg report alleges that next year's iPad Pro will get another big update. This year saw the addition of the powerful M1 SoC -- which is somewhat wasted given that iPadOS can't leverage all that power -- and a Mini LED display for the 12.9-inch model.

The 2022 iPad will reputedly switch to a glass back for the first time in iPad history. All iPads feature an aluminum back, but the switch to glass will allow the iPad Pro to support wireless charging and reverse wireless charging (to top off iPhones, AirPods, etc.). Wireless charging would be support using MagSafe, just as with current iPhone 12 models. MagSafe would, of course, charge slower than the existing USB 4/Thunderbolt port.

Last week, it was rumored that the future iPad Pro models might ditch the just-launched Mini LED display in favor of OLED panels.