Jony Ive’s favorite parts of the 2018 iPad Pro might surprise you

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Don't break your 2018 iPad Pro.
Jony Ive headed up the design team for the 2018 iPad Pro.
Photo: Apple

Just a few days after unveiling the new iPad Pro, Apple’s Chief of Design revealed what he likes best about it, including one feature you might never notice. This tablet just got some significant changes in its form factor, with Jony Ive leading the redesign team.

He also discussed the difficulties of improving products that are already very popular.

2018 iPad Pro: Ive’s favorite parts

“What I think marks the new iPad Pro as particularly special is it doesn’t have an orientation. It has speakers all the way around the perimeter,” Ive said in an interview with the Independant. “By getting rid of the Home Button and developing Face ID, the tablet is able to work in all of these different orientations.”

Removing the Home button allowed Ive’s design team to shrink the size of the 2018 iPad Pro while giving it a nearly edge-to-edge display. They also replaced the Lightning port with USB-C and made other changes.

But one of Ive’s favorite new features is one most people might not even notice. “We managed to change the form so that the section at the edge has a simple vertical face instead of a curved edge. The reason we could do that was the product had reached the point where the fabulous engineering teams have been able to make it so very thin that it meant we could have a very simple straightforward edge detail.”

Avoid change for change’s sake

The interviewer asked Apple’s design chief about the challenges of adding new features to a product like the iPad Pro that already has a devoted following.

“It starts with the determination not to fall into the trap of just making things different,” responded Ive. “Because when a product has been highly regarded there is often a desire from people to see it redesigned. I think one of the most important things is that you change something not to make it different but to make it better.”