Though it’s not concrete, it’s the first tangible proof from Apple itself of the fabled large iPad’s existence, as previous rumours were just that, rumours.
The larger keyboard has a more traditional layout than the current on-screen keyboard we’ve seen in iOS, as it has wider Shift keys, as well as a Tab, Caps Lock, and a row of keys above the letters for symbols like exclamation mark, “@,” and the hashtag.
iOS 9 will feature Split View, which lets you split your iPad’s screen in half with two different apps, which is better for multitasking when you’re trying to be productive. A more traditional keyboard layout would also be more familiar, and the added keys would add functionality that would help with the iPad’s ability to become a tool for productivity.
It still doesn’t clarify exactly how big the larger iPad’s screen size will be, but the majority of rumours are pointing to at 12.9 inches.
Previous rumours about the “iPad Pro” or “iPad Air Plus” also point to a Force Touch screen, which would be able to detect the amount of pressure you apply to the screen to perform certain functions. On the Apple Watch, for example, you can bring up additional controls for certain apps by applying more pressure than you normally would with a tap.
We’ve also seen rumours about the large iPad having built-in NFC, which could help people pair NFC-enabled devices quicker and more easily than pairing over Bluetooth. That means devices like headphones and keyboards could pair this way. It’s also likely an NFC-capable iPad could have commercial uses as a payment terminal that accepts Apple Pay payments, which also uses NFC technology.
Image leaks of protective cases designed for the large iPad also suggest that it could feature a USB-C port, which could give it compatibility with a wide range of devices, from TVs with HDMI and anything with a USB port.