The New iPad Pro Screen Is Amazing →

June 23, 2017 · 15:32

Gabe Weatherhead:

Most of what I’ve read or heard about the new iPad Pro is close to reality but I think the effect of the new 120 Hz refresh rate of the screen is being over stated. It’s nice but it is not dramatically better. It’s not even that noticeable. Scrolling looks better, but it’s minor. From the early reviews you might expect more but I think there was a lot of pent up excitement for the iPad Pro revision.

I cannot stress how much I don’t agree with this. The new ProMotion screen is jaw-dropping. The smoothness of the animations and scrolling are fantastic, and in a few short minutes, have ruined my iPhone’s screen. If you use an iPad a lot and can afford to get one, do so.


Federico Viticci on the 10.5″ iPad Pro →

June 12, 2017 · 13:30

Federico on MacStories:

I’m not even a week into my tests with the 10.5” iPad Pro, and I think scrolling on my first-gen 12.9” iPad Pro looks choppy now. I’d be surprised if 120Hz displays with ProMotion don’t expand to the iPhone later this year and other Apple computers in the future. The combination of hardware and software really is that good.

At first I just wanted the 12.9″ UI in a 10.5″ form-factor, at 326 ppi. We didn’t get that. I am however extremely curious about ProMotion — I spend 4-6 hours a day on my iPad, scrolling a lot, and this could change everything.

I was curious to see if the larger screen could make the 10.5” iPad Pro a viable alternative to multitasking on the 12.9” model, but, as I imagined, working with Split View on this iPad is the same as the 9.7” version, showing enlarged iPhone interfaces instead of two full-size iPad apps at once. If you were expecting the same Split View experience from the 12.9” iPad Pro, the 10.5” doesn’t allow it.

I admit that I had hoped for the same experience as on my 12.9″ iPad but I think I’ll be able to accept the trade-off.

Unfortunately, Federico does not directly compare the 10.5″ Smart Keyboard with the 12.9″ model, but you can find a comparison to the 9.7″ version in his review.


“Full Size” Keyboard on 10.5″ iPad Pro →

June 12, 2017 · 13:19

Dieter Bohn:

I was all set to complain that increasing the size from 9.7 to 10.5 was not a big enough jump to justify requiring people to buy new keyboards and accessories. Then I started typing on the on-screen keyboard and on the new hardware Smart Keyboard. Even though I’m dubious about Apple’s claim that the software keyboard is “full size,” I find the slight size increase makes touch typing much easier. It’s still a little cramped, but it’s much easier to bounce between this and a real keyboard now.

I currently switch between a Magic Keyboard, a MacBook Pro (late 2016), and the 12.9″ iPad Pro’s Smart Keyboard. I don’t have any major issues doing so. The curious thing is that since getting the MacBook Pro, I now find the Magic Keyboard’s key travel to be too long — I actually prefer the shorter throw now.

I have the new 10.5″ iPad Pro on order — it will replace my 12.9″ — but I’m still hesitating about getting the Smart Keyboard for it. I just don’t like cramped ones…


March 19, 2017 · 13:40

Just got back from our vacation, and as I sat down, I realised that I didn’t have to use my iPhone. iPad! Missed you so much!


iPad Pro 10.5″ Reported to Have 2224×1668 Resolution Screen →

February 27, 2017 · 22:25

Mike Wehner, writing for BGR:

Apple’s long-rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro is expected to fill in the gap between Apple’s 9.7- and 12.9-inch top-of-the-line tablets, but until now the mythical slate’s display have been a subject of debate. Now, thanks to Rhoda Alexander, IHS Markit’s Director of Tablets and PCs, we might have an answer. Speaking with Forbes, Alexander claims that the new tablet with have a resolution of 2,224-by-1,668, which will allow the 10.5-inch Pro to maintain the exact same PPI ratio as the two existing iPad Pro models.

At that claimed resolution, the new tablet’s pixel density comes in at 264 pixels-per-inch. That matches the 9.7-inch iPad Pro (2,048-by-1,536) and the 12.9-inch version (2,732-by-2,048) in terms of sharpness. That makes a lot of sense for a tablet that is aimed at creative types, and will essentially remove one technical factor from the decision process of anyone shopping Apple’s tablet lineup.

While this theoretically makes sense, I do not believe this will be the case. Adding a 2224×1668 px screen would force developers to adopt yet another resolution, bringing the total up to three (the others are 2048×1536 and 2732×2048). This would complicate many things unnecessarily, including the keyboard, new UI layouts, etc.

I already made this case last year, doing the maths behind the 10.5″ screen. Adopting the 2732×2048 resolution from the iPad Pro 12.9″ makes much more sense. First of all, no major changes to the UI, keyboard, and software would be needed — everything would look exactly like on the 12.9″ model, but smaller. That new 10.5″ screen would have 326 ppi, which is on par with the iPad mini and iPhone 7. Secondly, Apple would retain just two resolutions in the iPad line-up (not counting the non-Retina 1024×768 of course).

This is the simpler and more logical solution, especially since so many people appreciate the additional space and more advanced layout of the 12.9″ UI, including space for two portraits apps side by side, the full keyboard, and more.


The Case for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro →

January 18, 2017 · 12:21

Jason Snell:

Dan Provost of Studio Neat wrote an interesting post last week about reports that Apple is planning on releasing a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro alongside the 12.9- and 9.7-inch versions.

The idea seems kind of far-fetched at first. Provost himself cites John Gruber’s statement that it doesn’t make any sense, but after reading Provost’s post, Gruber said that “the math works out”. And I have to admit, the more I think about it, the more appealing this possible product sounds to me.

I did the math 5 months ago, after Ming-Chi Kuo’s first rumour about the new iPad:

If you take the resolution of the 12.9″ iPad Pro of 2732 x 2048 px (it also has 264 PPI) and shrink it down to 10.5″, you get approximately 326 PPI. This could mean that the 10.5″ iPad Pro would get the slightly larger UI of the biggest iPad in the lineup, together with the better virtual keyboard and more room for two apps side by side.

I have not changed by mind — I love the amount of information that fits on the iPad Pros 12.9″ screen, but I would love to have it in a smaller form factor. My only worry is the Smart Keyboard — I use it because of its full-sized keys. Back to Jason:

A slightly wider iPad Pro would give Apple and third-party keyboard makers a little more room with which to work. Yes, the 12.9-inch model is 65 millimeters wider than the smaller iPad, but a look at the respective Smart Keyboards suggests that the 12.9-inch Smart Keyboard has width to spare. There’s at least 30 millimeters total of wasted space on the sides of the larger Smart Keyboard. Squash a few of the modifier keys at the edges, as on the smaller model, and an iPad that’s only slightly larger would probably allow for a keyboard with full-sized keys.

I really hope Jason is right about this and this is the path that Apple chooses — typing on the 9.7″ Smart Keyboard is a pain for me.

I also wonder if this might be an opportunity for Apple to release its own keyboard cover based on the new butterfly keyswitches it’s using on the MacBook and MacBook Pro, rather than leaving traditional keyboards to the third-party market.

I’ve grown to really like both the Smart Keyboard and the new butterfly mechanisms on my late 2016 MacBook Pro and Magic Keyboard. A marriage of the two would be a very interesting concept. It should also be more than possible — Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 keyboard is very good.

But I’ll give back a little bit of physical size if it also can bring support for full-sized external keyboards to the party.

Me too!


Apple Is Working on iPad Upgrades and Refreshed Mac Lineup →

August 30, 2016 · 08:34

Mark Gurman:

Apple Inc. is developing new features for the iPad to cater to professional users, along with new Mac laptops and desktops, according to people familiar with the matter.

Upcoming software upgrades for the iPad include wider operating-system support for Apple’s stylus accessory, while hardware performance improvements are also in development, according to the people. The refreshed Mac hardware line includes new versions of the iMac desktop, MacBook Air laptop, and a 5K standalone monitor in collaboration with LG Electronics Inc., in addition to a thinner MacBook Pro laptop.

The one thing that surprised me is that mention of a new MacBook Air. I thought they were basically dead, especially now that there’s a MacBook in the lineup, with a much better screen.


Todd Was Wrong About the iPad Pro →

August 22, 2016 · 22:23

Todd Haselton:

I’m quick to criticize new products, our readers know that all too well, but I was wrong about the iPad Pro.

Respect.

I personally know a few people who totally trashed the iPad until the day they spent some time with it and got it. They then went and got one for themselves.


Apple iPad Pro 10,5″ Rumour — It Could Adopt the 12,9″ UI →

August 22, 2016 · 14:42

Benjamin Mayo:

Apple is going to shake up the iPad lineup in a big way in 2017, according to securities analyst KGI Ming-Chi Kuo. Next year, Apple will reportedly release three new iPads, a 12.9 inch iPad Pro 2, a low cost 9.7 inch iPad and — most interestingly — a new iPad Pro with a 10.5 inch display, a new screen size for Apple’s tablet range. With a diagonal increase of just 0.8 inches over the 9.7 inch iPad, its unclear at this stage what will justify the introduction of another SKU.

I had my doubts about this rumour until I started crunching numbers. The current 9.7″ iPads have around 264 PPI, while the Minis have 326 PPI (which is the same as the 4.7″ iPhone). If you take the resolution of the 12.9″ iPad Pro of 2732 x 2048 px (it also has 264 PPI) and shrink it down to 10.5″, you get approximately 326 PPI. This could mean that the 10.5″ iPad Pro would get the slightly larger UI of the biggest iPad in the lineup, together with the better virtual keyboard and more room for two apps side by side.

I currently use the 12.9″ iPad Pro because the UI allows for more, due to its higher resolution — using two almost-full iPad 9.7″ apps side by side does make a difference. If Apple packages the experience in a smaller form factor, I’ll be standing in line on day one, waiting to get one as soon as possible.


Serenity Caldwell Left Her iPad Pro at a Rest Stop →

April 20, 2016 · 13:29

Serenity Caldwell:

After a fun weekend down in DC with Providence Roller Derby playing two incredibly hard-fought games against the roller derby teams from Washington DC and Cleveland, OH, I spent most of the car ride home excited to get back to writing about the iPad Pro and its 9.7-inch sibling; I even pulled out the 12.9-inch model to do some note-taking during the drive.

And then, in a late-night haze during our last rest stop of the evening, I did the unthinkable: I left the Pro on a Subway counter. I didn’t realize I had done so until this morning, when I went to gather my things to go to a local coffee shop to write — only to realize that my iPad wasn’t among them.

I’ve never had this happen to me yet, but I can imagine the sinking feeling you get in your stomach. Lots of good tips and warnings in the article too.


Jason Snell Review’s the Smart Keyboard for 9.7-Inch iPad Pro →

March 30, 2016 · 12:08

Jason Snell:

While the reduced dimensions of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro add complications in some ways, they offer benefits in others. This new Smart Keyboard has to cover a screen that’s 60 percent of the surface area of the larger model, meaning that it’s much lighter and less bulky. On the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (which is already 9.8 ounces heavier), using the Smart Keyboard as a cover felt bulky and burdensome. The smaller Smart Keyboard, on the smaller iPad Pro, doesn’t feel that way at all.

Whenever I want to use my iPad Pro 12.9″ for anything other than writing, I take the Smart Keyboard off. It’s too bulky. But the larger screen is gorgeous! Everything in life is a compromise, and it’s up to us to make the right choices.


Federico Viticci Tested Apple’s 29W USB-C Power Adapter and iPad Pro Fast Charging →

March 29, 2016 · 21:24

Federico Viticci:

The 29W USB-C power adapter with fast charging on the iPad Pro isn’t only capable of quickly charging an iPad Pro while its screen is turned off – most notably, it can both sustain and power the device considerably while it’s working hard used at full brightness. The 29W adapter is remarkably consistent in battery gains in a variety of conditions and it dramatically reduces the amount of time required to charge the iPad Pro.

I could guess Apple’s motivations for selling the 29W power adapter as a separate accessory (one could argue that fast charging for the iPad Pro wasn’t ready to ship last year). In an ideal world, however, the 29W adapter and USB-C to Lightning cable should be included in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro box.

The difference is insanely huge! I expected a difference, but not this.

Make sure to check out Federico’s charts.


9.7″ iPad Pro — the Bad and the Ugly →

March 29, 2016 · 15:13

Andrew Cunningham, reviewing the 9.7″ iPad Pro, noticed a discrepancy in memory bandwidth when compared to the 12.9″ iPad Pro:

We’re not sure what to blame for the reduction in memory bandwidth. The memory bus could be narrower (the 12.9-inch iPad uses a 128-bit memory interface, as opposed to 64-bit in the iPhone), but the scores are still substantially higher than they are in the iPhone 6S, and we’d expect them to be lower if the memory interface had actually been scaled back. The smaller Pro could be using DDR3 RAM like the iPad Air and Air 2 did instead of DDR4, but every A9-equipped device has used DDR4 memory, and the A9 and A9X memory controller might not even support the older DDR3 standard. We’ll need to wait for additional insight from iFixit or Chipworks before we have enough information to say for sure.

This is the third thing that surprised me, after I learned that Apple’s Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter only supports USB 2 speeds on the smaller of the two iPad Pros.

If this A9X had shown up in an iPad Air 3 and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro didn’t exist, it would have blown us away. It still represents a tangible improvement over the A8X in the Air 2. It’s only next to the full-fat, 4GB-of-RAM A9X in the big Pro that this one looks a little disappointing.

While ‘only’ 2 GB of RAM wouldn’t impact me personally, I don’t quite understand why Apple wouldn’t want to future-proof the most popular iPad size category, especially since its sales are declining over the past few quarters. Four gigs could actually be a valid selling point, especially since people seem to keep their iPads for years. I realise that I partially answered my question, but raising the ASP should account for something, right?


The New 29 Watt Charger Should Be Bundled With the 12.9″ iPad Pro →

March 26, 2016 · 14:08

Benjamin Mayo:

This higher-wattage charger should come bundled in the box with all new 12.9 inch iPad Pros sold. I don’t care that it didn’t exist at first. The current charger Apple ships is mediocre, bordering on unacceptable. It barely does the job: you can’t use the iPad whilst charging and expect the battery percentage to go up. Apple should not punish new Pro customers with the 12 watt charger just because it shipped a 12 watt charger initially. Now that something better is available, include that in the box. Enough said.

Harsh, but I agree.


Apple: Pencil Support for Navigating iOS UI Will Return in Next Beta →

February 24, 2016 · 16:44

Chris Welch received an official statement from Apple regarding navigating the UI with the Apple Pencil, which I mentioned recently:

Apple Pencil has been a huge hit with iPad Pro users, who love it for drawing, annotating and taking notes. We believe a finger will always be the primary way users navigate on an iPad, but we understand that some customers like to use Apple Pencil for this as well and we’ve been working on ways to better implement this while maintaining compatibility during this latest beta cycle. We will add this functionality back in the next beta of iOS 9.3.

This is good news. Whatever the real reason, I’m glad it’s here to stay.


Federico Viticci’s iPad-Only Setup — a Year in →

February 23, 2016 · 15:24

Federico Viticci wrote at length about his iPad-only workflow yesterday, and I have to say that I envy him that he can go and do this:

OS X is a fantastic desktop operating system, but it runs on machines that increasingly don’t fit the lifestyle of users who, like me, can’t sit down at a desk every day. I can’t (and I don’t want to) depend on Macs anymore because I want a computer that can always be with me. The majority of the world’s population doesn’t care about Xcode. I want to use an OS without (what I see as) cruft of decades of desktop conventions. I want powerful, innovative apps that I can touch. An iPad is the embodiment of all this.

I’m currently travelling, as you may have noticed, and I had a touch decision to make when packing — iPad Pro or MacBook Pro. I ultimately went with the MacBook for one reason, and one reason only — to retain the ability to edit my RAW files in Adobe Lightroom. iOS software still has a way to go, and I wish companies such as Adobe would start working on a full LR replacement, instead of making it a companion app.

A year into my iPad-only setup and with only one task left for my Mac, I feel safe to say I’ve moved past OS X at this point. The iPad Pro and iOS 9 have continued to free me from the physical constraints of my MacBook thanks to better hardware and a stronger software ecosystem. Macs are great, and they’re not going away any time soon, but they’re no longer the kind of computers I want to use. I need a computer that I can hold, with built-in 4G Internet and apps I can touch, and with a vibrant developer community whose apps constantly improve how I get work done. That’s an iPad.

I wonder at times if younger people have it easier when adopting a newer platform. I’m probably ten, if not more, years older than Federico, and I find things easier on OS X, most probably because I’ve known the intricacies of this operating system for a numbers of years now, whereas iOS is constantly evolving. This reminds me of the time in my teens when I used to play Doom a lot, using just the keyboard for everything. When I switched to Quake, I continued to use the keyboard, despite the fact that using a mouse and keyboard simultaneously gave the player much more precision. I still remember the day I walked into an internet café and saw four kids firing away, right hands on mice, left on keyboards. I finally made the switch, but it wasn’t easy for me, and they were probably just five or six years younger than me. The difference was that they skipped the keyboard-only phase…

And I never even tried to switch to playing FPS games on a gamepad…


I Chose the MacBook Pro Over the iPad Pro

February 11, 2016 · 20:44

I loved all my iPads, especially when travelling. They’re light, take up little space, and I even read on them instead of on my Kindle, just to have one less device with me. However, when I travel to places and plan to take a lot of photos, I always take my MacBook Pro1 instead of an iPad, albeit the decision is not an easy one.

While I can pretty much use the iPad, and more recently the iPad Pro, for close to everything, it does not run Lightroom nor does it support RAW files the way Lightroom for the desktop does. That is the single reason why I take the laptop. If I had an iPad mini, I would have probably taken that too2. But I don’t. And I want to be able to edit my photos.

So, Adobe, what I want, and need, is Lightroom for iOS which replicates the desktop version’s features, and allows me to transfer everything over to my Mac once I get home, integrating it easily with my existing catalog. Please make this happen.

  1. 2014 Retina 13″.
  2. Instead of the Kindle most likely.

Nilay Patel Bought His Mom a Chromebook Pixel →

February 2, 2016 · 21:31

Nilay Patel:

We were off to the races. It’s a month later and she loves the thing. It’s not fighting her, or asking her to learn anything new, or foisting complicated new products on her. There are no apps to update, and no new versions of the OS to install every year. It’s just Chrome, doing its thing. And because it’s still a thousand-dollar laptop, it’s incredibly fast. (Apparently the secret to making Chrome run really well is to totally dedicate a 2.2GHz Core i5 and 8GB of RAM to it.)

I’ve used a Pixel for a few weeks and even reviewed it — it truly is an amazing little computer, certainly much better in its second iteration. What I don’t still quite understand is why it requires a Core i5 and 8 GB of RAM to run as well as it does. It shouldn’t need it.

When we talk about laptops still being popular and important, we tend to talk about things like the precision of the mouse and the power and flexibility of a desktop operating system. We talk about all the things they can do better than a phone or a tablet. We talk about more. But it’s worth talking about the power of technology that strives to do less — much less. The thousand dollars I spent on a Pixel didn’t buy my mom crazy extensibility, or the ability to run powerful apps like Photoshop or Excel. It didn’t even buy her that much storage. But it did buy her a beautiful, well-designed product. And most importantly, it bought her focus, and the ability to spend her time using her computer instead of trying to learn how to use it.

That’s a lesson I think Steve Jobs would have liked very much.

I believe that Steve understood the concept quite well — please don’t take this as putting words in his mouth; that’s not my intent. I am referring to a product you can actually buy, which most certainly ticks the ‘focus’ box. It’s called the iPad. While probably not best suited for Nilay’s mom, you can’t beat the focus a single window into the internet gives you. That’s probably why I get so much done on my iPad Pro, with or without an external keyboard.


AnandTech’s Apple iPad Pro Review →

January 25, 2016 · 11:39

Joshua Ho, Brandon Chester & Ryan Smith for AnandTech:

The iPad Pro is arguably the first tablet that I personally want to even consider buying. It isn’t perfect by any means, and there is still a lot of work to be done – seemingly fitting for a first-generation Apple device – but for the first time in a long time it feels like the broader tablet market is advancing once again. If you want a proper tablet that can replace pencil and paper with a keyboard for extended typing sessions, I have no problem recommending the iPad Pro. If you’re hoping for a laptop that can also double as a tablet, I suspect that the Surface Pro 4 will remain the right choice for you.

Having tested both the iPad Pro (which I bought) and the Surface Pro 4 (which I didn’t), I found that the former is a great tablet and can function as a laptop replacement for many, while the latter is a good laptop, which can be used as a tablet, albeit a bad one due to issues with Windows and the lack of quality apps.

P.S. Autocorrect is giving me a hard time today…


Fraser Speirs Sells Mac, Goes All-in on iPad Pro →

December 23, 2015 · 09:50

Fraser Speirs:

I’ve been wanting to do this for five years now and it’s finally happened. I sold my MacBook Pro to go all-in on iPad as my main personal computer. Yesterday, I packed my 2015 13″ Retina MacBook Pro back into its box and sent it off to a new owner.

My Smart Keyboard is arriving today, so I’ll give it a shot too, while testing it out. I don’t have the balls to sell my Mac yet though…