Apple iPad users are getting more video game perks.
As part of next week’s update to iPadOS (iPadOS 14.5), the popular tablets will gain support for the latest video game controllers. The news was part of Apple’s “Spring Loaded” event Tuesday.
New iPad Pro models are on the way, too. Starting prices remain the same as the previous generation if iPad Pro devices: the 11-inch model starts at $799, while the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $1,099. Add $200 if you need cellular connections.
Want lots of storage for games and movies? Both models come with 2 Terabytes of storage: the 11-inch model with 2TB starts at $1,899; the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2TB model at $2,199.
Note: the iPad Pro storage capabilities wrongly rubbed some of those eyeing the new iMac computer, which tops out at 512GB of storage.
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These new iPad Pro devices run on Apple’s own Apple’s M1 processor, which is used in its Mac computers and promises up to 50% faster performance overall than current models and 40% speedier graphics.
The 12.9-inch model also boasts the new Liquid Retina XDR display, which uses mini-LED technology for improved brightness and contrast.
Apple announced the latest PlayStation or Xbox controllers would be supported by the new iPadOS. You can currently use controllers for consoles such as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
As for games, the Apple Arcade subscription service ($4.99) has more than 180 games available to play on iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV. While many of the games use touch controls, some are easier to play with traditional controllers.
News of the new iPads comes just a day after Microsoft announced it was expanding testing of its Xbox Cloud Gaming service to Apple iPads and iPhones, as well as Windows PCs.
As part of the limited beta test, some Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members will begin getting invites to play cloud games via Chrome and Edge browsers for Windows 10 PCs and the Safari browser on Apple devices starting Tuesday.
Microsoft has been testing its service, announced more than two years ago, on Xbox consoles, PCs and Android devices. The Xbox Cloud Gaming has more than 100 games available including “Halo,” “Grand Theft Auto V,” and “Fallout 4.”
Invites to test the service will go out to players in 22 countries. “Our plan is to iterate quickly and open up to all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members in the coming months so more people have the opportunity to play Xbox in all-new ways,” Catherine Gluckstein, Microsoft’s vice president and head of product at Project xCloud, said in a blog post.
Xbox Cloud games require a compatible Bluetooth or USB-connected controller, but more than 50 games including “Minecraft Dungeons” can be played with touch controls. For more information on what devices can be used, check out the Xbox Cloud Gaming support hub on Reddit.
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