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Apple “Let Loose” Event Scheduled for 7 May 2024

Apple has issued invitations to its next special event, scheduled for 7 May 2024 at 7 AM Pacific, titled “Let Loose,” and illustrated on the Apple Events page with an animated hand twirling an Apple Pencil.

Apple Let Loose event invite illustration

Like most Apple watchers, we anticipate the company will open the floodgates on new iPad releases after the 2023 update drought. A new Apple Pencil also seems likely to some, given the animation and the current compatibility confusion (see “Apple Expands Apple Pencil Lineup with USB-C Model,” 17 October 2023). Finally, some expect to see new Magic Keyboards as well.

Our question is if we’ll see changes—in hardware or in the version of iPadOS due a month later at WWDC—that make the iPad compelling to those for whom it has slowly descended into irrelevance behind the Mac and the iPhone.

You can add the event to your calendar and watch it at the Apple Events page or in the Apple TV app. For some human interaction, follow along with us and other TidBITS readers in the #events channel on SlackBITS.


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Comments About Apple “Let Loose” Event Scheduled for 7 May 2024

Notable Replies

  1. Keen to see upgrades for the Mini, easily my favourite iPad.

  2. You wrote:

    Our question is if we’ll see changes—in hardware or in the version of iPadOS due a month later at WWDC—that make the iPad compelling to those for whom it has slowly descended into irrelevance behind the Mac and the iPhone.

    That does seem to be the question. I have a perfectly nice iPad Pro 2021 M1 that I brought with me on my U.S. trips this month. I didn’t use it at all. And last month I used it exactly one time - for a Zoom where it was convenient to do it in another room and I didn’t want to disentangle my MBP from my desk.

    It’s a weird problem. The devices themselves are quite nice, but I suspect that for MBP users they are sort of redundant.

    Maybe a daily train commuter can make better use of them while commuting?

    Otherwise I think it’s mostly an either-or: which is better for you, a Mac or an iPad. My sister just uses an iPad. And I know a few simpler users who are satisfied with that.

  3. I’ve an iMac and two MBPros (one supplied by work) but my evenings and mornings in the kitchen are exclusively iPad time.

    I think the issue is the stalling of potential for use in work. It hit a limit. I recall the initial use scenario was the sofa, sounds about right.

  4. Though I’ve been retired for a few years and no longer have to use the New York City Subways or Busses at least 5 days a week, I still would never consider using, or ever walking around or sitting with my iPhone, iPad or MacBook visible to other passengers. For many years “Apple Picking” has been a very big problem; bad people who have been trained to grab and snatch iPhones, iPads, etc., which will yield much higher rates than Apple’s competitors.

    It’s also a problem in suburban transportation systems, and I’ve heard it’s a problem in other metropolitan areas too.

  5. Interesting. It’s not a problem here in Tokyo though.

  6. I was on the road a lot last summer and fall. I took iPad Air m1 with me about half the time and MbPro 2017 the other half. Barely felt any difference.

    The iPad gets my morning reading time, and my iMac gets my work time the rest of the day.

    Upcoming trip off the us mainland this week, and I’m taking the iPad.

    The touch interface is never going to feel as efficient to me as a keyboard mouse combo, but it mostly does the job.

  7. For many years I have used an iPad extensively while touring in Japan. I subscribe to Gigsky mobile data, which uses local phone networks. I can then use it for Maps, Mail, Safari etc and hotspot my phone to it.

    Also great for leisure reading and viewing travel PDFs.
    I would be very surprised if someone tried to steal it in Japan (especially on a Shinkansen!).

    Using the iPad at home to write this…

  8. If I were taking train rides, especially Shinkansen trips, I would probably do the same. I have a cellular version with Softbank. That lets me get unlimited data independent of tethering both in Japan and also when traveling in the U.S. I just had no chance to use it. I don’t travel much. My two week trip to the U.S. was like a once-a-year thing. I work from home. And the iPad is sitting here next to my MBP. So why reach for it?

    If I’m going out for a long afternoon I might take it with me in case I need terminal access to a server for an emergency. But I don’t really go anywhere.

    My sister finds it a sufficient device for her needs. She doesn’t really do anything but email and check the web. That’s the same for another friend here in Japan who isn’t highly tech oriented.

    I like the iPad. I just can’t find reasons to use it.

  9. I doubt it.

    We’ve had the debate on here before and I think you’re either a huge fan or reasonably apathetic (towards iPads). I fall into the latter category and can’t imagine anything Apple could do to change my mind.

    This is despite me having access to many iPad versions of software I regularly use (Capture One, Photoshop, Affinity etc). Then again, I’m not a big user of apps on the phone either.

  10. The iPad is exciting for me as it is. I own a 12.9 pro (M2) and so does my daughter. She’s a graphical design artist and favors the iPad over her MBP. I use it as my travel companion when I do not need to schlepp my MBP, but most of all I sue it as my scores repository. I am a musician hobbyist and got fed up with carrying scores of scores. It is now all on my iPad in an app called ForScore. Not that this app needs the processing and pixel density of the iPad Pro but I do need the 12.9 screen real-estate to be able to read the notes properly. I was thrilled to read about the upcoming bigger iPad Pro for this very reason, though a 12.9 iPad Air sounds compelling too for a newbie to ForScore with better eyesight than mine.

  11. Ray

    I rely on my smaller iPad for work, but my home iPad I purchased a few years ago is too large for me at 12.9 inches. I plan to sell the iPad (1Tb) and would love to sell with the new keyboard on eBay and get a smaller one in this new crop.

    I usually have sold on Gazelle or through Apple trade in, but they typically don’t take the keyboard (both are in excellent condition) and I would love to find someone who could use both.

    I’ll see what Apple comes up with.

    PS I anyone knows someone who would be interested in the iPad and keyboard, I can discuss a friend of TidBITs discount. If anyone knows of other places to sell than above, drop me a line.

  12. I am still using the first-generation 11" iPad Pro (2018) with Magic Keyboard (2020), and the combination does what I always did very well - sketching, writing (typing), serving as second screen to my Mac, etc.

    What I find frustrating about the iPad Pro is iPadOS. There is so much potential with iPad Pro, yet its capabilities seem to be constrained by iPadOS. I would love to bring the iPad along when I travel, especially during extended trekking trips. However, iPadOS does not offer any compelling features beyond what my iPhone can do and what I most needed (or wanted) - proper file management system and functions (e.g. rsync), running an IDE offline as a “super-calculator”, etc.

    At this point I do not see the possibility of any of these becoming reality (except, perhaps, the plain vanilla calculator), nonetheless the iPad Pro continues to serve me well at what I use it for. So I will continue to use it instead of upgrading to a new one.

    I used an iPad 2 (2011) while travelling in Japan and it worked really well. I asked the hotel staff to help me write down some Japanese phrases (e.g. “When is the last bus leaving?” and place names), and show it to the bus and taxi drivers, etc. That worked quite well (though I still missed the last bus one time). It is a good conversation starter in Kissa-ten’s too; I was able to show the photos and communicated quite a bit using gestures. I have not used an iPad on the train though; do people find that distracting and impolite?

  13. The iPad hardware has been excellent for many years and the new devices will, in my opinion, likely provide only relatively small incremental upgrades (probably with higher prices for the OLED screens).

    As others have said, the iPadOS is extremely lacking and there is no evidence that this will change anytime soon. Also, the App Store has rules which make its offerings uninteresting to me: things like the prohibition of compilers and the difficulty in providing complicated apps which appeal to a niche audience - something the Mac does very well.

    As to making the iPad look more like a laptop with improved keyboards, Apple already has an outstanding line of laptops which work very well, cost less than iPad Pros w/KB and have a much better operating system. Aside from some drawing applications, which benefit greatly from the Pencil, I can see very few ways in which the iPad is an exciting device.

  14. People here do not find that impolite. Most people are staring at their devices anyway.

  15. What I’d really like to see is for Apple to add touch-screen ability to their laptops.

  16. I suppose that tastes vary, but I would not like a Mac with a touch screen. I find that using a large vertical touch surface is tiring and not very accurate. The trackpad on a MacBook (Pro) does a lot of things that a touch screen would do: scroll in any direction, pinch to zoom, etc. A touch screen would add weight and cost with little benefit in my opinion.

  17. 7:00 A.M. is awfully early; hopefully I’ll be able to reduce the blood in my caffeine system enough by then.

  18. Ditto. I have both a Mini 5 and a Mini 6. I used my old Mini 4 as a trade-in for the 6. Unfortunately I have to keep the 5 as it has a critical application that won’t run on anything past iPadOS 14.4.2. The vendor passed away so it was never updated and I can’t find anything else as good for my requirements.

  19. I certainly hope so! As an artist, I depend heavily on my iPad and use it often as my main tool for creating digital art. My question is… how can it be improved, other than a speed boost? What could they do to a pencil to make it better than it is?

  20. Exactly. And a 14" iPad would make scores even more readable. It is the only thing that I see making me update my first rev 12.9.

    On the other hand, my iPhone is in serious danger of being permanently forgotten on my desk, because the only reliable way I see to sync my desktop calendar to mobile is to copy it into a DayTimer.

  21. There could be more proximity and hovering developed, for airbrushing. Or I’ve often wondered about a slider touch surface on the pencil or an actual button you could hold down.

  22. It seems a little absurd to me that a uniquely useful device like the iPad would be accused of “descending into irrelevance” simply because the iPad market isn’t growing the way it did in past years. The true significance of a tool like the iPad cannot be expressed by a balance sheet. It may seem like the value of everything in the world can be reduced to how much money it makes, but this is most assuredly not the case. The multitude of professionals who rely on the iPad to get their jobs done would laugh at the suggestion that an iPhone or a laptop could help them do their jobs just as well. And I do not think Apple has put so much time and energy into the iPad solely for the benefit of couch potatoes who use it to control their big-screen tv. An iPad is not a replacement for a full-featured computer or an iPhone. It’s an iPad. Those who have no need for its uniquely useful capabilities may not want to buy one; but they definitely do not speak for the rest of us.

  23. Oooh, okay, that would be nice.

  24. Or they could put an “eraser” on the other end like Wacom.

  25. That’s not what I wrote, which was:

    Our question is if we’ll see changes—in hardware or in the version of iPadOS due a month later at WWDC—that make the iPad compelling to those for whom it has slowly descended into irrelevance behind the Mac and the iPhone.

    Those for whom the iPad remains useful aren’t being addressed here. My comment was aimed at those who have found that their iPad just sits unused next to a heavily used Mac and iPhone.

  26. My mistake, Adam. Sorry if my reply ruffled any feathers.

  27. No worries, just want to make sure that criticisms are directed appropriately. :slight_smile:

  28. Well, almost certainly a new pencil, those are some impressive strokes, I wonder why ‘Let Loose’…

    Usually heard after “Cry havoc and…” and followed by “…the dogs of war”

    Must be some pencil.

  29. Additional data point (on the eve of the event):

    Currently visiting my granddaughter in Honolulu, and helped her turn out a congratulatory video for her mom yesterday on a creaky HP laptop.

    Her family is returning stateside this summer, and to start her new school year (she will be a senior in high school) she will be receiving a new iPad. She really wants the iPad, and has requested a pink one. She sees it as both useful tool and a bit of status.

    I whispered “MacBook” to her a couple of times, as editing the video on the HP was so painful and klutzy, but she really prefers the iPad.

  30. Well, to me it was a disappointment but first here is what was announced:
    New iPad Air in both 11" & 13" sizes
    New iPad Pro in both 11" & 13" sizes, very thin 5.1mm & 5.3mm respectively, M4 chip, New Magic Keyboard
    New Apple Pencil Pro that works with both of the above
    iPadOS two new Pro Apps: Final Cut Pro 2 for iPad and Logic Pro 2 for iPad

    The Basic iPad now starts at $349
    No mention of iPad Mini except as an afterthought by Tim during the Outro.

    So as an iPad Mini user, I was very disappointed and consider my time wasted when I could have been washing my breakfast dishes!

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