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second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro

Rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro Might Make Siri More Prominent

May 23, 2017

Apple is rumored to be debuting a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro at WWDC 2017 and a new render suggests that it will have three built-in microphones. Could that mean Apple is taking Siri more seriously and plans for some better integration?

With WWDC just a couple weeks away, many of us are wondering what the company has planned for the iOS, particularly on the iPad. For years, iPad hardware has continued to get better while the software hasn’t made nearly as much progress. Rumors have pointed to a major overhaul to iOS on iPad for iOS 11, but we haven’t seen a single leak that suggests that that will happen.

But a new rendering of what is rumored to be Apple’s upcoming 10.5-inch iPad Pro suggest that Apple might be taking Siri more seriously, particularly on the iPad. Currently, the iPad Pro consists of just one mic, but if this upcoming render is the real deal and Apple does include three microphones then it might be a sign that Apple is looking to turn the iPad Pro into a portable Echo Look-like device.

I’ve long argued that Apple should look to turn the iPad into a great hands-free Echo-like product that also displays information as you ask it questions or give it commands. While it does that already today, it still feels like it’s an afterthought rather than a full-blown feature. Perhaps with iOS 11 and the new iPad Pro, Apple is looking to change that.

Microphones have long been one of the major reasons why Siri on the iPhone and iPad are simply not as good as Alexa is on the Echo. To put things in perspective, the Echo has seven microphones and the upcoming Echo Look is going to have eight. This means the Echo is going to hear you every time and it’s not going to mistake what you’re saying. If Apple is serious about voice being part of the future of computing a single microphone is just not going to cut it.

By tripling the amount on the iPad, that might be a sign that things are about to change. Luckily, we won’t have to wait too long to find out.