The release of the iPad (2022) marks the first time we’ve seen a unified design across Apple’s entire tablet lineup in four years. The 2022 model of the entry-level iPad gains the nearly bezel-less design of its more expensive siblings and also marks the next big step in the ultimate death of Apple’s Lightning port by bringing USB-C to the entire iPad family.
While the iPad had been known for almost eight years for its iconic design that featured wide bezels and a front and center Home button, Apple changed that by releasing a new pair of iPad models. Pro in fall 2018. Following at least partly in the footsteps of the 2017 iPhone X, the new iPad Pro line adopted an edge-to-edge screen design, eliminating the home button and adopting the Face ID authentication. Although the bezels have shrunk considerably compared to previous iPad models, the larger size of Apple’s tablets has allowed the company to leave enough room for the True Depth camera system needed to pilot Face ID without resorting to to a notched screen.
The new iPad Pro duo also introduced a new flat-edged design that would herald things to come. Two years after its iPad Pro debut, Apple brought the aesthetic to the iPhone 12 lineup and a fourth-generation iPad Air, followed by the sixth-generation iPad mini in 2021. With the iPad from 10 generation of this year, the circle is now complete.
Can I use Face ID on the iPad (2022)?
With a bezel-less design and no home button, the new iPad 2022 immediately raises the question of whether Apple has brought Face ID to its most affordable tablet. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is a firm no.
One of the most notable design changes of the new iPad is the position of the front camera, which now lives on the long edge of the tablet – a position much better suited to using the iPad in landscape orientation. The new camera placement led some people to hope that Apple had used the extra space for a True Depth camera system.
Unfortunately, its location is the only noticeable difference in camera technology compared to the previous model. Apple calls it an “Ultra Wide Landscape Camera”, but that seems to be largely marketing spin, as the camera specs are identical to last year’s iPad. The iPad (2022) gains Smart HDR 3, but that’s a feature of Apple’s more powerful A14 chip, not the camera itself.
The absence of Face ID shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Apple has now released two generations of iPad Air which feature a nearly identical design to the iPad Pro, with the latest model even packed in the same M1 chip previously exclusive to the iPad Pro. However, even the latest iPad Air does not support Face ID.
It’s pretty clear that Apple considers Face ID to be an exclusive feature of the iPad Pro line. It’s available on all iPad Pros released since late 2018, four new generations of Apple’s high-end tablet lineup. Yet it remains conspicuously absent on any other iPad.
By all accounts, the True Depth camera hardware that powers Face ID isn’t cheap, so it’s an understandable omission, especially on Apple’s entry-level iPad. However, it’s also a way for Apple to set its flagship iPad Pro apart from the rest of the lineup.
What biometric options are available on the iPad (2022)?
Luckily, Apple hasn’t left fans of its budget iPad without any biometric authentication method. Its proven Touch ID system remains. Since the home button on the front is gone, Apple just moved the Touch ID sensor to the top button.
This is exactly what happened with the iPad Air (2022) and the iPad mini (2021). Both of these mid-range tablets featured the traditional front home button before they were treated to the new design, but since Apple was unwilling to bring Face ID to these models, it had to find a new home for the Touch ID sensor. The top button was the most logical place.
Touch ID works on the 2022 iPad as it did on the latest model; only the position of the sensor has changed. You’ll still be able to use your fingerprint to unlock your iPad, access secure apps, and authorize Apple Pay payments and in-app purchases.
Sensor placement can be a little more awkward for some people, especially if you’re using a keyboard with your iPad, and it certainly requires more effort than using Face ID. However, Apple has been using a top-button Touch ID sensor in its iPads for two years now, so it’s proven technology, and there’s no reason to believe it won’t work as well as it does. he always has.
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