iPad and Apple Pencil
The codes in the pre-release versions of iOS 10.3 seem to indicate that Apple is launching a 10.5-inch iPad soon. Reuters/Stephen Lam

Looks like there is now more reason to believe that Apple is developing a 10.5-inch iPad and improving support for Apple Pencil. An app developer just looked at the codes in the pre-release versions of iOS 10.3 and found indications that the rumored iOS device could be launched by the Cupertino giant soon.

On Wednesday, app developer Steve Troughton-Smith shared on Twitter what he found when he examined the codes in the iOS 10.3 betas. While the developer did not specifically said that he found codes for a 10.5-inch iPad, he claimed that he is now “reasonably convinced” that Apple could be launching a new iOS device with “screen refresh rate higher than 60Hz.”

According to 9To5Mac, Troughton-Smith’s discovery gives credence to a Bloomberg report published last year claiming that Apple could be launching a 10.5-inch iPad with faster display technology. At present, the iPad Pro accepts input at 240 hertz from the Apple Pencil though the display Apple is using cannot really update that quickly. Thus, it really makes sense that Apple could be bumping up the refresh rates of the screen it is using for a new iOS device.

Although saying that frame rates for a new device could be higher than 60Hz is quite far from the 240Hz rate of the Apple Pencil, an upgrade from the current iPad’s less than 60 to 30 frames would already mean a more responsive and lifelike experience when drawing on the display using the writing peripheral. This is the very reason Apple Insider cited as to why Samsung’s biggest rival could be pursuing higher screen refresh rates for its new iOS device.

Apart from ensuring better response time to the Apple Pencil, the higher frame rates is also being linked to Apple’s desire to take advantage of augmented reality and virtual reality technologies with its new products. The faster response times would help make the AR and VR experience on the device more enjoyable and less headache-inducing.

Just this Tuesday, Apple dropped a bombshell by introducing its budget-friendly 9.7-inch iPad as the replacement of the iPad Air 2. The low-end iPad houses Apple’s A9 processor and slightly dated specs and features. It does not come with support for the Apple Pencil as well.

Given that the long-rumored 9.7-inch iPad came true this week, there is now more reason to believe that the rumored 10.5-inch flagship iPad and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro could also be introduced soon. Sources are even saying that the two could be unveiled at a special event Apple is planning to hold next month.