iOS 10.3.3 beta hints at new 12.9-inch iPad Pro

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New wallpapers hint at new devices.
New wallpapers hint at new devices.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s first iOS 10.3.3 beta, rolled out to registered developers on Tuesday, hints at a 12.9-inch iPad Pro refresh is imminent. The device could get its unveiling next month at WWDC, alongside iOS 11 and the rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro.

iOS 10.3.3 isn’t a big update; it mostly makes fixes and improvements under-the-hood to give users a faster, more stable user experience. But it does include three gorgeous new wallpapers specifically designed for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Apple doesn’t typically add new wallpapers to iOS unless it’s a major upgrade, or they’re for a new device. It might be a subtle hint, then, but it suggests the company could be planning to unveil a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro at WWDC, which will use these backgrounds by default.

New wallpapers are one way in which Apple can freshen up its marketing shots, and make it clear to consumers the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro isn’t entirely the same as the last one — even though it might look identical on the outside.

Of course, it’s no big surprise that Apple is planning a refreshed 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Although the iPad mini might be on the chopping block, the company’s largest slate remains popular among fans, and it hasn’t been refreshed since it made its debut in November 2015.

There’s no doubt a new model is coming, then, but we’ll have to wait and see whether it will indeed be unveiled at WWDC — or whether we’ll have to wait until the fall to get our hands on it.

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