New iPad Confirmed for Fall Launch with Big Face ID Change

All signs are pointing to a big iPad event for October — and some big changes for Apple's next slate.

First up, app developer Steve Troughton-Smith said on Twitter on Tuesday (Sept. 18) that he found references in Apple's iOS 12.1 code that suggests the company's Face ID scanner will work in portrait and landscape orientation. He added that the code for iOS 12.1 "seems to care a lot more about whether an external display is connected" to the tablet. He wondered in the tweet whether that would suggest the iPad could come with a USB-C port, allowing you to connect another monitor to the tablet via that port.

The Face ID feature, however, could be a big one. Apple has been offering Face ID since last year's iPhone X, but it only works when your iPhone is held in portrait mode. If you decide to flip it horizontally, you'll find Face ID doesn't work. Many had hoped that the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and iPhone XR would ship with landscape Face ID, but that didn't happen.

Now, though, Troughton-Smith suggests there might be a possibility of the feature coming to new iPads — a first for an Apple device.

But that wasn't the only information mined from Apple's iOS 12.1 code.

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In its own investigation into iOS 12.1, Apple-tracking site 9to5Mac found a new daemon in iOS called "avatarsd." A daemon is a critical component in getting syncing of content across devices. And the finding from 9to5Mac suggests that Memoji, a new emoji feature in iOS 12, could be synced across devices in iOS 12.1.

Currently, Memoji only work on the iPhone. And if you try to open a conversation with people on another device, you'll see that the Memoji you had sent won't sync between devices.

After finding the code, 9to5Mac wondered whether Memoji would be coming to the new iPads Apple is expected to launch. And that, then, would allow for full syncing between your iOS devices.

But exactly when we'll actually see those new iPads is unknown. Speculation abounds that the tablets will be unveiled sometime in October. And according to AppleInsider, Apple might have even confirmed that, with a reference to "iPad2018Fall" in its iOS 12.1 beta.