2020 iPad Pro microphone has ‘hardware disconnect’ for added security

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Apple Smart Keyboard Folio for the 2020 iPad Pro
It stops software from listening in when you think your iPad is asleep.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s newest iPad Pro has the ability to disconnect its microphone when the device is not in use for increased security. The disconnect happens at a hardware level so software cannot override it — but there’s a catch.

The feature only works for you if you have the right accessories.

No, Apple is not throttling its A-series chips for easy upgrades later

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2020 iPad Pro builds on the 2018 model.
The 2020 iPad Pro offers an additional GPU core, but its chip hasn't changed.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A new investigation into Apple’s improved A12Z Bionic chip inside the 2020 iPad Pro reveals that it features exactly the same GPU found in the A12X Bionic for 2018 iPad Pro units. The one big difference is that an additional eighth core is now enabled, making it slightly faster.

Many fans are now criticizing Apple for what seems, at first glance, as intentional throttling. It is assumed Cupertino is disabling features in its newest chips, only to enable them later and market them as improved — even though they’re essentially the same on the inside.

Could it be that this is a scheme to make quick and easy cash? Actually, no. This is standard practice across the semiconductor industry. Others like Intel and Nvidia use exactly the same approach — and there’s a very good reason for it.

Here’s the real reason why an A12Z is just an A12X with unlocked potential.

Top 5 reasons to love the 2020 iPad Pro

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2020 iPad Pro builds on the 2018 model.
2020 iPad Pro has more RAM, a better camera, an innovative LiDAR 3D scanner and other improvements,
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The 2020 iPad Pro takes Apple’s very capable tablet from 2018, improves the specs and performance, and even adds some great features.

I did hands-on testing of the new capabilities and found there’s a lot to love in the latest iPad.

Apple’s ARKit 3.5 offers augmented reality enhanced wih LiDAR 3D mapping

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ARKit 3.5 offers improved people occlusion with its LiDAR 3D scanner.
ARKit 3.5 does a better of job of mixing people and virtual objects in augmented reality apps.
Photo: Apple

ARKit 3.5, the new version of Apple’s augmented reality software, can capture a 3D representation of the world in real time. This feature employs the LiDAR scanner that’s already in the 2020 Pad Pro and expected in some of this autumn’s iPhone models.

And the version of ARKit that debuted yesterday in iOS 13.4 is better at allowing virtual objects to pass in front of and behind people in the scene.

2020 iPad Pro review roundup: Still stellar, but little reason to upgrade

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Apple Smart Keyboard Folio for the 2020 iPad Pro
The best keeps getting better.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s newest iPad Pro will begin landing on customers’ doorsteps Wednesday, March 25. Will it be worth their hard-earned cash? Let’s find out from reviewers who already have their hands on one.

Unsurprisingly, the 2020 iPad Pro is already being dubbed Apple’s best tablet yet. It improves upon an already winning formula with a LiDAR Scanner, Ultra Wide camera, and faster connectivity.

Some still bemoan missing features in iPadOS. When it comes to the hardware, however, there’s very little to complain about.

OtterBox Defender case adds massive protection to 2020 iPad Pro

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OtterBox Defender Series for 2020 iPad Pro brings plenty of protection.
The OtterBox Defender Series for the 2020 iPad Pro includes a screen shield that does double duty as stand.
Photo: OtterBox

The OtterBox Defender Series adds multiple layers of shielding, and a version specifically for the 2020 iPad Pro already hit store shelves.

This case wraps around the sides and back of the tablet, plus it includes a built-in screen protector and a removable screen shield that also functions as a kickstand.

Attention hoarders, Apple lifts limits on iPhone, iPad, and new MacBook Air purchases

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There are no iPad or iPhone purchases limits
Buy all the 2020 iPad Pro units you want.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

The limit on the number of iPhones, iPads and new MacBook Air models each customer could purchase that Apple put into place a few days ago has already been lifted everywhere outside China.

This means any hoarders who have money left after buying every scrap of TP in their town can stock up on Apple devices, hoping the limited supply will make prices skyrocket.

Best 2020 iPad Pro keyboard cases available at launch

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Apple Smart Keyboard Folio for the 2020 iPad Pro
An updated Apple Smart Keyboard Folio is one of the best keyboards available now for the 2020 iPad Pro.
Photo: Apple

Adding an extra camera lens and LiDAR to the 2020 iPad Pro changed the design enough that virtually all keyboard cases designed for its predecessor can’t be used with the new model. And Apple’s own Magic Keyboard won‘t debut for months.

Still, there are already a couple of keyboard cases available for people expecting a new iPad Pro to arrive this week.