Apple has hinted at the launch of the new iPad through an identifier hidden within the first iOS 12.1 beta. The latest revelation emerges days after the renders of an iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) concept surfaced online. The new iPad models are so far rumoured to have an all-new front panel that could ditch the Touch ID-enabled home button and have a thin-bezel display. The Cupertino giant has also provided a bunch of references within iOS to suggest Face ID support on the new iPad family. Further, it is speculated that the new iPad Pro models will come with a USB Type-C connector instead of the iconic Lightning port. The latest iOS 12.1 developer beta also includes hints around the USB-C presence.
As reported by developer Guilherme Rambo, now of 9to5Mac, the iOS 12.1 developer beta 1 comes with an "iPad2018Fall" identifier. The identifier is available within the assets used by the Setup app. Notably, the previous version of the Setup app included identifiers for the 2018 iPhone. The app is used to ease the setup process of a new Apple device, and the fresh development means that it is being updated to help users how to use the new gestures on a new iPad model that is launching soon.
Apple hasn't revealed any plans related to its new iPad models. However, if we look at the history, Apple could launch the new models at an event in October.
Reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo lately suggested that the 2018 iPad Pro models will come with a USB Type-C connector. Also, if we look at the recent CAD-enabled renders and a video showing the design of the iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) based on the initial reports, there will be the absence of the 3.5mm headphone jack and a symmetrical display panel - without a home button. The renders also show that there is a rear-side placement of the Smart Connector. This is unlike the three-pin interface available at the left side of the existing iPad Pro models.
Apart from the identifier hinting at the launch of the new iPad this year, the first iOS 12.1 beta has code to enable landscape Face ID support - another hint at the ongoing development of the new iPad Pro models.
As spotted by app developer Steven Troughton-Smith, the initial iOS 12.1 code suggests Face ID supporting landscape orientation. This is likely to be exclusive to the new iPad Pro models that could come without a Touch ID-enabled home button. "From what I gather, landscape Face ID would require a realignment of the front-facing sensors, so you won't see it on existing hardware," the developer tweeted. He also mentioned that "iOS 12.1 seems to care a lot more about whether an external display is connected." It could be a hint at the presence of a USB Type-C connector instead of the original Lightning port.