Apple Event LIVE: iPad Pro, Apple Pencil Pro, iPad Air, M4 and everything Apple announced

 Apple.
Apple.

While in many ways 2023 was a fruitful year for Apple fans, bringing the advent of the Vision Pro headset and iPhone 15 line up, tablet toting users were left in the dark. For the first time in the product’s history, there wasn’t a single new iPad unveiled in last year – but that all changed today.

We were in London for Apple’s first ever event at its new Battersea Power Station for the brand’s ‘Let Loose’ event, in which a ton of iPad updates were announced. These include:

  • A new iPad Air which comes in two sizes for the first time: 11-inch and 13-inch

  • A new iPad Pro, featuring the blazing fast M4 chip and the thinnest design of any Apple product ever

  • Apple Pencil Pro, featuring new haptic controls including Barrel Roll, letting users spin the end of the stylus to access tools

  • AI-powered updates to Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad

You can watch the event right here at the video below. Plus, you can see how I got hands-on with the new iPad Pro, iPad Air and Apple Pencil Pro here.

And of course, new iPads are almost certain to mean great deals on previous models – take a look at the best iPad deals available now. And if you’re specifically after a device for digital art, check out our guide to the best iPad for drawing.

Welcome to Creative Bloq’s Apple event live blog! It’s an unusual one this time, with the event taking place at the very UK-friendly time of 3pm. We’re here in London for a special event at Apple headquarters, and will bring you all the news from the ground as it happens.

two iPad Pros with keyboard on a black background
two iPad Pros with keyboard on a black background

As a writer, something I’m secretly hoping to see is an updated version of the iPad’s Magic Keyboard – specifically a lighter version. It’s an awesome accessory that (almost) transforms the iPad into a bonafide laptop. But at present, the Magic Keyboard doubles the weight of the thing, which isn’t ideal when you’re, say, travelling to an Apple event in London.

iPad Pro
iPad Pro

One of the most persistent rumours we’ve heard over the last couple of years involves the iPad Pro’s display, which might finally get the OLED treatment this year. For creatives, the brighter colours and sharper contrast of OLED could be an absolute game-changer.

iPad vs iPad mini
iPad vs iPad mini

While plenty of rumours have suggested that the iPad Air and iPad Pro are in for a refresh, the little old iPad mini’s future is less certain. We’ve heard that a new update might fix the current generation’s jelly scrolling issue, but other than that details are scant. Still, Apple could have a mini surprise in store for us this afternoon.

iPad generations
iPad generations

If you’re a little confused by the current state of the iPad line up, you’re not alone – things are a little complicated. With the likes of the 9th and 10th generation model jostling for the title of budget model, and the Air and Pro not dissimilar in specs, it can be hard to know which model to choose. Thank goodness for our iPad generations guide, then.

someone holding Apple Pencil over iPad Pro
someone holding Apple Pencil over iPad Pro

And the Apple Pencil line up isn’t that simple either. With the introduction of the new USB-C model last year, there are now three models available – each compatible with a different set of iPads and with different feature sets. Take a look at our guide to the different Apple Pencil models.

A product shot of the various iPad 10th gen colours on a blue background
A product shot of the various iPad 10th gen colours on a blue background

The last new iPad model was the 10th generation iPad, announced by Apple last October. While we were a little confused by its place in the line up at first, this (sort of) budget option did manage to win us over in our review.

Apple Pencil USB
Apple Pencil USB

As mentioned before, the Apple Pencil USB-C was announced last year. The 'budget' Apple Pencil wasn't necessarily the stylus we wanted to come out of Cupertino – we were very much hoping for an Apple Pencil 3. In other words, an Apple Pencil with more functionality, not less.

So we have our fingers and toes crossed for this announcement today. We think there's so much more an Apple Pencil could do for digital artists (the perfect companion to the best iPad for drawing). Here's hoping.

iPad Pro
iPad Pro

Beyond the OLED screen, it's hard to predict what could possibly be done to the iPad Pro design. Even smaller bezels? The current model is already pretty thin and light, but we guess that could be slimmed down even more. That leaves us with.... a folding iPad? We jest. Sort of.

Likely is that the iPad becomes so powerful it'll be able to replace your laptop. But, as already mentioned, we'll need a better keyboard solution than the Magic keyboard. And it has even been rumoured it'll come with an M4 chip. Which is confusing since MacBooks are still on the M3.

Apple back to school sale
Apple back to school sale

Actually, one thing I'd love to see is a genuinely useable Pro camera. Given the iPad Pro is now so functional, the camera is woefully lacking, meaning you need your iPhone Pro Max to take professional shots. Adding a very decent camera into the iPad (which should be easy given they have the tech in iPhones, right?) would turn the iPad Pro into an all-in-one creative tool. We're in for that.

two iPad Pros with keyboard on a black background
two iPad Pros with keyboard on a black background

And what about size? We can't imagine this will change massively... or at least not get more massive. On team we have both the 11.9-inch model and the 12.9-inch, and actually found the latter too big. Of course, if you're not planning to be on the move, a larger iPad Pro is perfect for digital art, but the likelihood is you'll need to cart it around at some point and we found it unwieldy and heavy.

To be honest though, we do have a mini fan on team so we may not be the best case study.

Product shot of Boriyuan iPad Mini 6 Keyboard Case
Product shot of Boriyuan iPad Mini 6 Keyboard Case

Talking of the iPad mini. Is it dead? Will this afternoon see a resurrection? Who uses it anyway? Hopefully all these questions will be answered in about 90 minutes.

Apple event logos
Apple event logos

Can we take a second to enjoy the many Apple logo designs that came together to brand this event? We hope we're right in thinking they indicate something special for artists...

A person using an Apple Pencil to draw on an iPad.
A person using an Apple Pencil to draw on an iPad.

Rumours are abound of a new, bigger iPad Air to match the iPad Pro's largest size. We're fascinated by how Apple will make it light enough to qualify as an Air.

In fact, if leaks are to be believed, there are apparently going to be four new iPads announced to replace the Pro and Air models. It's not surprising that the basic iPad isn't getting an upgrade given its surprising power – any more powerful and we'd start getting confused over the line up again. But more powerful Pro and Air models will put it back firmly in its place.

Apple
Apple

30 mins to go! We’re here at Apple’s London HQ in Battersea Power Station, where the excitement is palpable.

Apple event
Apple event

Less than 10 minutes to go! It’s a full house here at Apple in London.

Apple
Apple

And we’re off! This is the very first Apple event being held here at Apple’s Battersea HQ, with guests from over 30 countries in attendance.

Apple
Apple

We’re kicking things off with iPad Air…

Apple
Apple

For the first time ever, the new iPad Air comes in two sizes, with an 11-inch or 13-inch display.

Apple
Apple

The new iPad Air is getting the M2 chip, making it 50% faster than the previous model.

Apple
Apple

Here you go, grid fans.

Apple
Apple

The new iPad Pro is the ”thinnest Apple product ever” – even thinner than the iPod Nano. And it comes in 11-inch and 13-inch models.

Apple
Apple

The rumours were true – OLED is coming to iPad. But of course, Apple has given it its own name, calling the double panels ‘Tandem OLED’.

Apple
Apple

So there we have it – the iPad Pro is leapfrogging even the MacBook Pro to become the very first Apple product to feature an M4 chip.

Apple
Apple

Believe it or not, M4 is faster than M3.

Apple
Apple

Logic Pro 2 and Final Cut Pro 2 are both on the way for iPad, offering huge AI-powered upgrades.

Apple
Apple

A new, thinner iPad Pro means a thinner Magic Keyboard. And this one comes in the same aluminium finish as the MacBook.

Apple
Apple

Say hello to Apple Pencil Pro, which features brand new sensors for haptic feedback. ‘Barrel roll’ lets artists roll the pencil to activate tools and edit brushes, which looks an absolute game-changer for digital artists.

Apple
Apple

And now it’s hand-on time! Here’s the new Apple Pencil Pro, whose new Barrel Roll feature lets users spin the end of the pencil to access even more tools and brush options.

Apple
Apple

This is the new iPad Air, which now comes in two sizes – 11” and 13”.

Apple
Apple

And here’s the new iPad Pro, which features the thinnest design of any Apple Product ever, and packs the brand new M4 chip – which hasn’t even come to Mac yet.