Apple is working on a dock for the iPad that will allow the device to function as a smart display and speaker, according to a report to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman. The company is reportedly planning to roll out the capability next year, turning the iPad into an Amazon Echo Show-like device that you can put on a counter or nightstand.
An iPad docking station could work the same way, Gurman notes, potentially allowing users to make FaceTime calls and gain hands-free control over smart home devices. The company is also working on other devices in the smart home space, including an updated version of the HomePod that Gurman says could have an updated screen, an S8 chip and multitouch functionality. Last year, Gurman reported that Apple also has plans for a combined Apple TV and smart speaker device equipped with a camera, which he says is still in the works.
While we’re not expecting the docking station yet, Apple is poised to launch the iPad Pro before the end of this month, which will reportedly come with 11-inch and 12.9-inch variants, as well as Apple’s internal M2 chip. .