As soon as all the rumours started consolidating around the new design of Apple’s tablets, I knew I was going to get a new iPad this year. I chose the 11-inch model with 64 GB of flash storage and LTE.
- I chose the 11-inch iPad (upgrading from the 10.5-inch one) because it better suits my needs. I already have a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro and there would be too much overlap between it and a 12.9-inch iPad.
- I often use the iPad one-handed for reading my RSS feeds and Twitter and discovered this is not very comfortable on a larger screen device. I had to rest my 1st generation iPad Pro 12.9-inch on my leg because of its considerable weight. The new model is lighter but still not light enough.
- I didn’t go for 256 GB of storage because I have strong feelings against Apple’s price tax. After a full restore from backup, I currently use around 30 gigs of storage (I use the Optimize Storage option for iCloud Photo Library).
- Despite the LTE and GPS module getting a price hike this year, I use the iPad away from Wi-Fi often enough, that I couldn’t imagine not getting this option.
- I did not buy the Smart Folio Keyboard — I consider it much too expensive for what it offers. I have an external Apple Wireless Keyboard and three different stands to use it as a laptop replacement (an Origami Workstation, a Stump Stand, and an Abo Vetek iMac-lookalike-thingy).
- I still haven’t ordered the new Apple Pencil, but I will soon enough.
- I wanted the iPad in silver but my reseller only had the Space Grey model in-store, so I chose that — not regretting the choice.
- The new design language, translated from the iPhones X, is stunning. I love the look of the new screen and bezels (which are actually wider than the thinner bezels on the iPad Pro 10.5-inch) and the blocky design is actually more comfortable when using one-handed.
- I wish the weight of this iPad had gone down, even by 50 grams.
- Apple should include the 30 W charger in the box of both iPads Pro. The new 18 W charger should be included with the iPhones instead.
- This is the first iPad which doesn’t have a 4:3 aspect ratio. I wouldn’t mind a 3:2 screen but at 4.29:3 it’s much better for watching video — the top and bottom black bars on 16:9 content are slimmer. This also means that I can see more text in portrait when browsing Twitter, Safari, or RSS.
- Apps which aren’t optimized for the new size get slim black bars above and below (in portrait mode) their content — this is probably the most elegant solution Apple has come up with in regard to unsupported apps on new screen resolutions.
- I don’t like the new on-screen keyboard. I don’t need a Tab or Caps Lock key, which also forces the other keys to be smaller, which makes it harder to thumb-type in portrait. I would like to see the option to revert back to the one from the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
- Face ID and Tap to Wake are fantastic!
- I wish I didn’t have to wait until June 2019 for iOS 13. The iPad desperately needs more features to distinguish it from the iPhone.
- Support for external storage via Apple’s Files app and other basics, such as ZIPing or unZIPing files without needing to resort to Shortcuts.
- The option to copy RAW photos from an SD card straight into e.g. Lightroom CC, skipping Photos for iOS.
- Trackpad and mouse support, preferably including a pointer.
- A redesigned SpringBoard.
- The ability to open apps, which are not in the Dock, in multitasking mode.
- The option to change default apps.
- A better way to save and open downloaded files in the apps that we want to save or open them in.
- Better system-wide external display support.
- A new charging cable with a U-shaped connector which would allow the cable to snake around to the back of the iPad, without sticking out like a sore thumb.
- Better keyboard support for stuff which is present in MacOS for years (if not decades), e.g. pressing ⌥+Space to insert a non-breaking space. I had other examples, but they escape me at the moment.
- A full desktop-class Safari browser, which doesn’t break on the WordPress editor and many other things or tools.
I’m sure I missed many things and these are just off the top of my head but we’re 8 years in and iOS really needs a lot more work to be able to fully replace my MacBook Pro. Having said that, the new iPad doesn’t necessarily do anything better than the 10.5-inch model that I had but everything is just a bit nicer. I’m happy with the upgrade and keeping my fingers crossed for a huge iPad-oriented update to iOS at WWDC.