Built-in trackpad coming to iPad Pro keyboard in 2020

Apple is preparing to launch an iPad keyboard with a trackpad built into the accessory as it continues its efforts to position the once-traditional tablet as a laptop alternative.

Reports over the weekend claimed that Apple is working on new developments for its current batch of Smart Keyboards and that the new accessory will be manufactured from similar materials, which suggests that a fabric design will be used.

Since the launch of iPadOS, Apple has attempted to make the device more of a conventional laptop, but inputs have previously been limited to touch-based navigation via the display.

Apple is now blurring the line between iPads and its MacBook line further with the new keyboard, which is set to enter “mass production” in the coming weeks.

The report stated that the accessory is likely to be released alongside an updated iPad Pro model before the end of the year, though specific dates have yet to be confirmed.

The latest news about a keyboard with a trackpad follows a Digitimes report last month that Apple is working on a Smart Keyboard with backlit keys.

This accessory is also slated for release before the end of 2020, but it is not known whether it will have the trackpad built in or whether it is a separate release entirely.

The next iPad Pro is expected to be unveiled at a private event in the spring alongside the iPhone SE successor.

It is rumoured to have a raft of new features including a triple-lens camera system, which will offer users more options when taking shots, and a 3D time-of-flight sensor.

Apple recently released iPadOS 13.4 with new keyboard-related features, but developer Steven Troughton-Smith noted that there weren’t any changes that pointed to the potential release of a trackpad-based accessory.

Apple will likely reveal official details in Q2 2020.

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I've been a passionate evangelist for Apple and the Macintosh throughout my working life, my first love was a Quadra 605 working with a small creative agency in the south of Norfolk UK in the mid 1990's, I later progressed to other roles in other Macintosh dominated industries, first as a Senior graphic designer at a small printing company and then a production manager at Guardian Media Group. As the publishing and printing sector wained I moved into Internet Marketing and in 2006 co-founded which grew to become one the top 200 visited sites in the US (according to Quantcast), at its peak receiving over 15 million visits per month. For the last ten years I have worked as an Affiliate and Consultant to many different business and start ups, my key skill set being online marketing, on page monetisation, landing page optimisation and traffic generation, if you would like to hire me or discuss your current project please reach out to me here.

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