PSA: New iPad Air 4 compatible with most 11-inch Pro accessories


iPad Pro cases will fit new iPad Air 4
Logitech's Folio Touch for iPad Pro works with iPad Air, too.
Photo: Logitech

Picking up a new iPad Air next month? If you’re switching from a 11-inch iPad Pro, you will be pleased to know that most of your existing accessories should work just fine with your new tablet.

Both devices are almost identical in size, with the new iPad Air being ever so slightly thicker than the iPad Pro. Unless you have an incredibly tight-fitting case, you shouldn’t have any compatibility issues.

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A common downside to upgrading your Apple devices is having to throw out (or recycle, if you’re responsible) all your old accessories and buy brand-new ones. But that’s not always necessary.

Apple in recent years has made a habit of reusing familiar designs for new products, and that continues with the fourth-generation iPad Air. Here’s what you need to know before buying cases and other add-ons.

iPad Air 4 almost identical in size to 11-inch Pro

The new iPad Air measures 9.74 inches (246.6mm) by 7 inches (178.5mm) by 0.24 inches (6.1mm). The 11-inch iPad Pro is identical, except it is ever so slightly thinner at 0.23 inches (5.9mm).

This means that the majority of 11-inch iPad Pro accessories on the market today — such as Apple’s excellent Magic Keyboard and the Logitech Folio Touch — will work just fine with the new iPad Air.

Now, that difference in thickness between the two models, despite being next to nothing, could mean that particularly tight-fitting cases will be a little difficult to get onto the new iPad Air.

It’s not just cases

With most accessories, however, you shouldn’t have any issues at all.

It’s not just cases that should be cross-compatible with both the new iPad Air and the 11-inch iPad Pro, either. Both devices also have a Smart Connector and USB-C port in exactly the same positions.

So, you should also find that third-party keyboards, docks, hubs, protective skins, and more are fully compatible with both devices right out of the box. There is one thing to watch out for, though.

Look out for Touch ID

For the first time ever with the new iPad Air, Apple has integrated Touch ID into the tablet’s sleep/wake button. Many cases will cover this, rendering Touch ID completely useless.

Those designed specifically for the new iPad Air, which we’ll see a lot more of in the coming weeks, should leave this button exposed. But if you’re buying an 11-inch iPad Pro case, it’s something to bear in mind.