Latest iPad software hints at new iPad design without a home button

Key Points
  • Apple's iOS 12 developer beta shows an icon for an iPad without a home button.
  • Similar discoveries revealed the iPhone X and the HomePod before they were launched.
Tim Cook, CEO, holds an iPad Pro after his keynote address to Apple's annual world wide developer conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, U.S. June 5, 2017.
Stephen Lam | Reuters

A developer version of Apple's new iPad software that was released to developers Wednesday hints at a new iPad design, according to 9to5Mac.

The iOS 12 developer beta includes a new icon that does not have a home button and appears to have thinner bezels (the borders between the screen and the edge of the iPad), 9to5Mac said. Numerous reports throughout the past year have suggested that Apple's next iPad will include Face ID instead of a home button.

Face ID was introduced on the iPhone X and allows a user to unlock the device by looking at it, instead of authenticating using a fingerprint on the home button. Without a home button, users will likely swipe up from the bottom of the new iPad to return to the home screen, the same gesture required by the iPhone X.

An icon in developer software might not seem like a big deal, but the iPhone X and the Apple HomePod both appeared in Apple software before they were launched.

Apple typically unveils its new iPhones during in September. It's possible the new iPad makes its debut there, too.

Read more on 9to5mac.