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iPad Pro leak suggests Google and Microsoft are shaping Apple’s future

A freshly-discovered patent filing suggests that the upcoming iPad Pro will be vastly different to its Apple-branded siblings.

We’ve long known that, with a 12.9-inch screen, it’s set to be significantly larger than all existing iPads. However, it also looks like it will ship with its own dedicated stylus, such as that seen with the Surface Pro 3 and Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2.

A US Patent and Trademark Office filing recently submitted by Apple has been spotted, describing a stylus capable of sensing both grip and pressure.

While the latter feature has been seen before in the excellent Surface Pen – a peripheral which can detect a stonking 256 levels of pressure – the iPad Pro could potentially take this a step further. That’s because its display could come equipped with Apple’s new Force Touch technology.

Perhaps most interestingly, the stylus is also rumoured to offer 3D input sensing, taking into account the angle at which you hold it to the screen and how far away it is from the tablet.

Furthermore, like the Surface pen, it’s expected to feature physical buttons, which would presumably be used to quickly launch specialised handwriting or annotation applications.

However, that’s not all we’re looking forward to seeing in the tablet. The rumour mill says that it will flaunt new iOS features, including simultaneous multi-tasking and support for multiple user profiles. Again, these have been available on some Android devices for some time.

This all points towards a device built to appeal to a more serious market, including professionals, academics and artists

iPad sales have slowed of late, and Apple looks to be working hard to stop the arrest.

Related: iPhone 6S release date

According to serial tipster OnLeaks, the iPad Pro’s body will measure 223 x 206 x 7.2mm, and it will drop the Lighting connector in favour of the new USB Type C port.

Apple is kicking off its annual WWDC conference on 8 June, where we’re likely to hear a lot more about the device.