For several months now, there have rumors circulating that Apple will be introducing a new tablet with bigger display screen. But something recently seen in the newest version of the iOS mobile operating system is suggesting that there may be some truth to those rumors.
Steve Troughton-Smith is an add developer who stumbled upon a feature that is built into the virtual keyboard of the recently introduced iOS 9. According to Troughton-Smith, this new feature comes with new keys and can scale with bigger display screen sizes.
iOS 9 was just officially introduced by Apple during the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) only about a week ago. This newest version of the iOS mobile operating system will run on most devices made by Apple, even older models like the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2. iOS 9 will be made available to iOS users as a free upgrade from the current iOS 8 platform. App developers though have gotten hold of iOS 9 earlier than casual users at WWDC, which explains how Troughton-Smith was able to spot the new keyboard feature.
As seen on the screenshot that Troughton-Smith tweeted recently, the iPad keyboard does have an additional top row consisting of symbols (similar to the ones found on hardware keyboards above the numeric keys), plus tab and caps lock keys on the left side portion of the keyboard.
This find is significant because an expanded iPad keyboard on iOS 9 more or less suggests that the system is being prepared to handle tablets with larger display screen sizes. And it surely links up with recent rumors that Apple is readying to debut a bigger tablet, purportedly named as the iPad Pro or the iPad Plus. This tablet will reportedly come with a 12.9 inch display screen, as well as improved specifications. Many industry watchers believe that Apple is releasing this tablet for users who want to replace their old notebooks for a newer, bigger iPad.
To date, users can choose between two basic iPad models -- the iPad Air and the iPad Mini. The newest iPad Air features a 9.7 inch display screen while the latest iPad Mini comes with a 7.9 inch display screen. If rumors are true, a new 12.9 inch iPad would definitely be an improvement over the existing Apple tablet choices. And it just might help in rejuvenating Apple's lagging tablet sales. During the first quarter of 2015, the tech giant saw a 29 percent decline year over year in its tablet revenues and a 23 percent decline year over year in the number of tablets sold.
But since we are talking about one of the more secretive companies ever, it is not 100 percent certain yet if Apple will indeed release an iPad Pro in the near future. But as hinted in the expanded keyboard discovered by an app developer, there is a very real chance that it may just happen soon.
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