Alongside today’s announcement of the redesigned third-generation iPad Pro, Apple has officially revealed a collection of new accessories that were previously rumored to be in development for its new tablet.
Second-generation Apple Pencil. Apple originally introduced the Apple Pencil in September 2015 as an accessory for the first-generation iPad Pro — the company’s first iPad stylus. Made primarily from white plastic, the 6.6-inch-long tube had no buttons, but used a replaceable gray tip and hid a metal-ringed Lightning plug under a detachable rear cap. It sold for $99.
The new version is made entirely from white plastic and hides even more technology inside. With a flat side, it can now attach magnetically to the new iPad Pro and recharge using the Pro’s inductive charging connector.
Tap gestures can be sensed on the tube’s side where a finger rests, enabling users to change tools within apps, such as changing marking styles or adjusting the thickness of the virtual writing tip. The physical tip appears to still be replaceable.
Apple offers free engraving as an option for the new Pencil, which works only with the new iPad Pro models, not earlier iPads. It also carries a higher price tag than its predecessor, at $129; the prior model remains available at $99 for sixth-generation iPads and prior-generation iPad Pro tablets.
Smart Keyboard Folio. Apple has released a new Smart Keyboard Folio, which was previously available in $159 (10.5-inch) and $169 (12.9-inch) versions called Smart Keyboards for iPad Pros. It is now more expensive, selling for $179 (11-inch) or $199 (12.9-inch).
The prior Smart Keyboard was a plastic fabric lid that attached magnetically to the iPad’s left side, doubling over itself to provide both a full-sized keyboard and a rear stand to prop up the tablet for typing. Because the Keyboard used the iPad’s Smart Connector for power and data, it didn’t need to make a Bluetooth connection or include an internal battery. The new version features a simplified design that covers the iPad Pro’s back, unfolding to let the tablet’s magnetic connector touch the flat typing surface for connectivity and power.
USB-C Charger and 1-Meter Charge Cable. Before today’s event, rumors suggested that Apple was planning to include USB-C in upcoming iPads and iPhones, including new USB-C chargers, but the feature was conspicuously missing from the iPhone XR and XS models released last month. The new iPads feature USB-C charging ports and will be compatible with a wide variety of USB-C accessories.
Apple will ship the new iPads with an 18 watt USB-C Charger and a one-meter USB-C to USB-C charging cable, which it previously sold in a two-meter version for $19.
The company is also introducing “a new USB-C to SD Card Reader and USB-C to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter” to go along with the iPad Pro, the latter for $9. Case options will include a $79 polyurethane Smart Folio for iPad Pro, offered in a variety of colors.