New iPad and iPad Pro still aren't compatible with Apple's $19 polishing cloth

The iPad Pro 2022 next to the iPad 2022 on a split background with the Apple Polishing Cloth over the top
(Image credit: Apple / TechRadar)

Last October, Apple gave us new AirPods, a new MacBook, and – most importantly – a new polishing cloth, which caught the attention of Apple fans everywhere, not because of how well it was able to clean but which products it was able to clean; Apple had given its cloth a compatibility list.

Fast-forward to the following year and on October 18, 2022, Apple served up an exciting trio of new tablets: two sizes of M2-powered iPad Pro and its tenth-generation iPad, which finally waved farewell to both the home button and Lightning port the company's standard tablet line had held onto up until this point.

Naturally, while many swooned over the tenth-gen iPad's vibrant finishes, and the possibilities and potential offered up by the new Pro's added M2 horsepower, I leapt straight to the store on Apple's website, brought up the product page for that all-important cloth and, as any sensible person would, promptly checked the compatibility list.

A screenshot of part of the compatibility list for the Apple Polishing Cloth as of October 21 2022

Days after their announcement, Apple's new iPads still don't feature on the most important compatibility list Apple has ever created. (Image credit: Apple)

To my horror, despite serving as what is possibly Apple's most widely-compatible accessory – confirmed to work with everything from the fourth-generation iPod Shuffle and the first-generation Apple Watch, right up to the M2-toting MacBook Pro 13-inch and the iPhone 14 Pro Max – not one of the company's latest slates was included in the roster.

Even after refreshing the page several times and hopping over to Apple's UK and Australian web stores to see whether this was some sort of browser caching error on my end or Apple was in the process of updating the cloth's product page in other markets systematically, all signs pointed to an absence of compatibility with the tenth-generation iPad, fourth-generation 11-inch iPad Pro and sixth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro. How could this be?

Apple iPad Pro 2022 range with Magic Keyboard

The iPad Pro 2022 range (Image credit: Apple)

My first thought was that the iPad Pro 2022's new Apple Pencil Hover gesture – which detects the nib of a second-generation Apple Pencil up to 12mm away from the screen to preview brushes in creative apps and expand text boxes for handwriting – must somehow be rendered unusable if Apple's first-party cloth makes contact with the Pro's enhanced ProMotion display, but that wouldn't explain the tenth-gen iPad's absence from the cloth's whitelist as well.

Stumped, I can only conclude one of two possibilities: either Apple is working on 'clothOS 2' and is yet to roll the update out to this model of polishing cloth; at which point the compatibility list will expand to include these late 2022 additions to the iPad family.

Alternatively, Apple is working on an entirely new product, potentially a Polishing Cloth 2 or Polishing Cloth (2022) that boasts upgraded features (a non-slip back, perhaps?) to facilitate the new iPad models, destined to arrive alongside the tablets when they release on October 26. However, this move would arguably anger Apple fans who've already invested in the first-generation polishing cloth, which is barely a year old, so hopefully, this isn't the case.

Actually, thinking about it, I suppose there's a third possibility...

Maybe Apple still just hasn't updated the product pages on its online store yet and, in truth, all three new iPads can actually benefit from the $19 / £19 / AU$29 cloth's nonabrasive touch. Until they do make those updates though (and three days later, still nothing), existing iPad owners and those already intending on picking up one of the company's new iPads might just have to take the plunge and test out compatibility for themselves.

If you're tempted by any of the new iPads Apple just announced, or a looking for a discount on one of the best iPads already out there, why not check out our rundown of the best iPad deals and best Black Friday iPad deals, you might be able to nab yourself a bargain to offset the cost of that all-important cloth.

Alex Walker-Todd
Senior Phones Editor

Alex joined as TechRadar's Senior Phones Editor in June 2022, but brings over a decade's worth of experience to the role, with an expertise in smartphones, tablets and wearables. He's covered keynotes hosted by the biggest brands and attended the launches for some of the most influential mobile products of the last few years. His experience was amassed at some of the most reputable consumer technology publications out there, including GSMArena, TechAdvisor and Trusted Reviews.