I really thought the iPad Mini was dead but when the rumours started coming in about a newer model, I kept my fingers crossed for Apple adopting the Liquid Retina display from the new iPad Pros, along with a similarly designed case. I had two Minis in my iPad history and I loved them both. They were most excellent for thumb-typing and fantastic reading tablets, especially for RSS, the web, Twitter, and even ebooks. The screen was a bit small for comic books and magazines but I blame my ageing eyes on that. While a new Mini is always welcome — it really is a great little tablet — things have changed in the last few years. I really expect more from the “most innovative” company in the world, than just a speed bump, a slightly better screen, and the same 7-year-old design.
The “new” 10.5-inch iPad Air is really just a 10.5-inch iPad Pro without ProMotion and the quad-speaker system. While most people won’t notice the loss of the former, they really could have retained the latter, since a lot of people like to use iPads for watching video. The good news is that the price is down slightly.
Jason Snell, on Six Colours:
Last week I took a trip during which I needed to record three podcasts (Liftoff, Download, Six Colors Subscriber Podcast) with guests who would be participating via Skype. I almost took my trusty old MacBook Air with me, but I decided to see if I could figure out a way to replicate the bulk of my home recording setup without requiring a Mac.
While I can do a lot on an iPad, I am still constantly amazed how many hoops people are willing to jump through to do something, which wouldn’t be an issue on MacOS (or Linux/Windows for that matter). I’m at a point where I can’t be bothered anymore (if I don’t already have a workflow set up for a particular problem).
Benjamin Mayo, for 9to5Mac:
The iPad mini 5 is not going to be the most exciting of updates according to recent reports. Macotakara says informed accessory manufacturers indicate the new iPad mini will look almost identical to the iPad mini 4 design.
A low-cost iPad mini could potentially become a hit for people who need something more portable than a 9.7-inch iPad, but what I really want to see is a small iPad Pro in the new design. That could get me to justify using two iPads Pro — a small one for travel, and a 13-inch model for the home.
Mark Gurman and Debby Wu, for Bloomberg:
Apple is also testing some versions of this year’s iPhone line that includes a USB-C connector instead of the Lightning port that has been used on iPhones since 2012, indicating that the company plans an eventual switch, according to one of the people […]
Beyond iPhones, Apple plans to release an updated version of its lower-cost iPad with a roughly 10-inch screen and a faster processor as early as this spring, according to people familiar with the plans. That device is expected to retain the Lightning port, according to one of the people. The company is also readying a new, cheaper iPad mini, its smallest tablet that hasn’t been updated since 2015, the people said.
Apple’s next operating system update, iOS 13, will include a dark mode option for easier nighttime viewing and improvements to CarPlay, the company’s in-vehicle software. There will also be iPad-specific upgrades like a new home screen, the ability to tab through multiple versions of a single app like pages in a web browser, and improvements to file management. The company will also integrate two new services, including a magazine subscription service and its original video content efforts, via iOS updates this year.
This summary by Mark Gurman, potentially confirming previous leaks, makes me feel like I won’t be upgrading my iPhone this year – the new camera module will allegedly only be present on the XS Max’s successor, which is just too big to use comfortably. I was a bit surprised that he didn’t corroborate the leak about the XR’s successor getting a dual-camera setup though.
In terms of hardware, I can’t wait for a new iPad Mini. I doubt I’ll buy one — having two iPads is overkill — but still I fondly recall my first generation iPad Mini. It was just so comfortable to use around the house and in transit.
In terms of software, I can’t wait to get my hands on the new iOS 13 beta this June — 2019 will hopefully be the year of meaningful iPad updates.
Chance Miller, for 9to5Mac:
Over recent weeks, reports have suggested Apple is planning a new iPad mini 5 as well as a 10-inch iPad. Now, the company has registered a handful new iPad models with the Eurasian Economic Commission, the database that has revealed new Apple devices in the past.
I hope they get new designs and better displays.
Steven Troughton-Smith did some spelunking:
In theory, iOS 12.2 references four new iPads in WiFi & Cellular variants (perhaps mini, and 9.7″?), all without Face ID, and a (seventh-gen?) iPod touch with no Touch ID nor Face ID.
TJ Luoma, on Rhymes with Diploma:
Using the Luna Display with my 12.9″ iPad Pro feels almost as if I am using macOS as a native iOS app. The speed and responsiveness are great, and it’s straightforward to use. However, there are some important caveats, especially if you are using a smaller iPad or if you are not using the iPad as a second display for your Mac.
I’m sorely tempted to get one of these, even though I don’t really know what I’d use it for.
It’s definitely mind-blowing that you can set up a simple HTTP server on your iPad. All I need now is a more sophisticated Files integration so I can copy files into @iSH and edit them with another app to do some real work! Huge shout out to @tblodt.
iSH is amazing but… this shouldn’t be mind-blowing. iOS is 8 years old and based on MacOS — we should have been able to do this years ago (without jailbreaking).
Spoiler: He succeeds.
App used: LumaFusion, which I did not know about and which looks very impressive.
John Gruber, on Daring Fireball:
But, I will object to one thing: the iPad feels like a young platform, yes, but it’s not young. It’s over 8 years old. Steve Jobs was still around to introduce it. When the Mac was 8 years old in 1992, System 7 had been launched and it was a very advanced platform, suitable for work of any kind. The new iPad Pro hardware might be the best consumer computer hardware ever made — the only rivals are the iPhone XS and XR. But software-wise, the iPad platform is nowhere near as far along after 8 years as the Mac was a generation ago. The iPhone is. But the iPad is not, and I don’t see how anyone can deny that.
Apple slowed down evolving iPadOS features in the beginning and then tried to speed them up as the hardware started to get better at a rapid pace, but the software team just can’t keep up. It’s still missing utterly basic functionality and I’m really hoping iOS 13 is a big one for the iPad. June is so far away though…
I’ve always really enjoyed using the iPad as a secondary device but the new iPads Pro take things to a whole new level.
I just can’t get enough of that gorgeous new screen.
Federico Viticci, on MacStories:
In practice, I find the iPad Pro’s new design appealing for a couple of reasons. Visually, it’s striking. Whether I’m holding the iPad Pro and using the multitouch keyboard or typing at a desk with the Smart Keyboard Folio, all I can see is a screen that elegantly reaches the corners of its enclosure and embraces them. It’s beautiful, and a testament to Apple’s terrific work on Liquid Retina displays. Again, compared to older iPads it instantly feels like the future, available today. The new iPad Pro elicits the same feeling of last year’s switch from the iPhone 7 to the iPhone X, albeit at a much bigger scale.
Like the iPhone 4 (Retina) and later the iPhone X (“all-screen”) were the two major stepping-stones to the future, the 2018 iPad Pros’ design make it feel like a completely new visual experience — a first since the original iPad from 2010. Realistically, nothing much has changed, but it feels like we have the future in our hands.
From an ergonomic standpoint, I also believe the new design makes it easier to hold the 12.9″ iPad Pro in both landscape and portrait; particularly for portrait orientation, I find typing with my thumbs on the software keyboard sort of possible again, whereas the old design with the thicker bezels on each side often resulted in giving up thumb-typing on the large iPad after a few minutes.
Federico states that thumb-typing is “sort of possible”, which makes me glad I went for the 11-inch model. I probably wouldn’t have thumb-typed this post on its larger brother, either going for an external keyboard or my MacBook Pro instead.
Chance Miller, on 9to5Mac:
With the recent push towards smaller bezels, some are calling for Apple to make an even bigger iPad Pro. While the largest iPad currently sold by Apple is 12.9-inches, some iPad fans say Apple could push that to around 15-inches.
For instance, a couple of weeks back, developer Steven Troughton-Smithshowed off how iOS would need little work to be capable of running on a 14.9-inch iPad Pro. Safari, for example, could show two side-by-side tabs, as well as a third app with a 14.9-inch display.
I had the opportunity to use a 15-inch Surface Book 2 for a few weeks and I found myself using the screen detached quite a lot. Sure, it’s unwieldy at that size, but when I sat down in a comfy chair, I used it in portrait, resting the bottom on my lap. At 15 inches, it was a huge reading slab, perfect for browsing my RSS feeds or the web, for example. The funny thing is that the 12.9-inch iPad is actually worse in this scenario — it’s too small to use rested in my lap and too heavy to use one-handed.
Will Hains, on his blog:
I heard my friend Casey describe a car he was reviewing as “tossable”. I’m pretty sure that’s not a word in any version of the English language, but the meaning is clear.
That word floated up in my mind as I struggled to fold and unfold the 12.9-inch behemoth, to pry it from my office desk, and to get it in and out of my bag. It felt too awkward and unwieldy to quickly whip out while on the train and crunch through a few email replies.
I got very good at handling my old 10.5-inch iPad Pro, even propping up the too-clever-by-half keyboard cover. It was just more… tossable.
I too was extremely tempted to go down the 12.9-inch route at first but then I remembered my experience with the first generation model of this size. I like to use my iPad to read and thumb-type (e.g. when using Twitter) and the on-screen keyboard of the larger model is just not built for this. It should be smaller (or there should be a choice of an alternate keyboard). Weight is another issue — personally I don’t find it comfortable to hold with one hand for extended periods of time. The larger screen and the ability to run two full-sized portrait apps next to each other do not make up for this.
In practice, it means the top edge of the iPad Pro 12.9”, when propped up in its keyboard cover is very high off the desk. It’s harder to reach the top of the screen when there’s no keyboard shortcut to go back a screen, and the left-edge swipe gesture is unavailable. And when I did tap the top of the screen, the whole thing wobbled.
I first read about the wobbly screen in the Smart Keyboard Folio in Will’s post and layer saw that Marco Arment mentioned it in his video review. Do watch the whole thing — it comes at the iPad from a different and interesting perspective.
I don’t believe I saw anyone else mention this in anywhere else and it could be a deal-breaker for some. Personally, I’m not getting Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio — it’s just too expensive for what it offers.
Having said all that, I just thumb-typed this post on my 11-inch iPad, which I wouldn’t have bothered to do on the 12.9-inch model — I’d have put it off for later, when I had an external keyboard connected.
There’s one thing about the new iPads Pro that I haven’t seen anyone else mention — they’re just so cool to both use and look at. Like the iPhone X, they are futuristic… and available today.
They might not add a lot of value compared to the previous models, in terms of usability (apart from Pencil users), but I’m glad I got one.
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.
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Nilay Patel, for The Verge:
I use Lightroom CC all the time and I would love to manage and edit all my photos on an iPad Pro, especially since editing with the Apple Pencil is so much fun on this display. But I have no desire to import hundreds of RAW files into my camera roll and iCloud photos account. When I brought this up, Apple very proudly pointed to a new Siri Shortcut from Adobe that imports photos from the camera roll into Lightroom and then automatically deletes them from the camera roll.
I couldn’t test that Lightroom Siri Shortcut, since it’s not yet available. But I can tell you that macro-based hacks around the limitations of an operating system are not usually included in bold visions of the future of computing, and that Siri Shortcut is a pure hack around the limitations Apple has imposed on the iPad Pro.
Oh, but it gets worse. I shoot photos in JPG+RAW, and the iOS PhotoKit API only allows apps to grab one or the other from the camera roll. So I could only import my RAW images into Lightroom, leaving the JPGs behind to clutter up my camera roll and iCloud storage. That’s untenable, so I just gave up and imported everything directly into Lightroom using my Mac, because my Mac doesn’t insist on abstracting the filesystem away into nonsense.
This is my single biggest gripe with Apple and Adobe — they still haven’t figured out how to make this as simple as on a Mac (or Windows machine, for that matter). This basically makes it impossible for me to use an iPad for processing my RAW files. I’m still hoping both companies get their act together, but after 8 years, I’m closer to just accepting this won’t happen.
Apple seems to want it both ways with the iPad Pro: it loves to tout the iPad’s laptop-dwarfing sales figures and industry-leading performance, but when pushed on the iPad’s limitations, the company insists that the iPad is still an ongoing attempt to build the future of computing, not a laptop replacement.
But after eight years, this double-sided argument is no longer tenable. Unlike virtually every other computer, the iPad is a product of Apple’s singular vision: the company designs the display, the processor, the operating system, and the limits of the applications and accessories that plug into it. And after all this time, it’s clear that whatever roadblocks and frustrations exist in using the iPad Pro are there because Apple wants them there. There just aren’t that many excuses left.
I still love the iPad but it’s far from being a laptop replacement for so many people. Apple did finally cave and introduce the Files.app so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for substantial changes in iOS 13, but I’m not holding my breath.
Apple recently unveiled new Macs, iPhones, and iPads. They are continuing their trend to increase ASPs and milking their customers. This is a hostile practice towards its users and completely unacceptable to me personally. I compiled a list of things which the company should remedy below, before it’s too late.
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iCloud Tabs is a wonderfully useful feature in Safari for iOS and MacOS. It allows us to view what tabs we have open all our other devices and close them if necessary (swipe left). Unfortunately, after I restored my iPhone X iTunes backup to the iPhone XS, the new phone would not show up in iCloud Tabs. The fix is really simple…
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Sameer Samat details the new Android Pie on Google’s blog:
The latest release of Android is here! And it comes with a heaping helping of artificial intelligence baked in to make your phone smarter, simpler and more tailored to you. Today we’re officially introducing Android 9 Pie […]
I wanted to comment on two of the new features…
That’s why Android 9 comes with features like […] Adaptive Brightness, which learns how you like to set the brightness in different settings, and does it for you.
I have been using iPhones and iPads since 2008, and always relied on Automatic Brightness. I don’t know what Apple did, but I never had an Android phone which handled this function, as well as iOS does — I’ve always had stuttering or sudden brightness shifts, including flickering while it’s been adjusted. All this on many flagship phones, including older Nexus devices and more recent ones like the Galaxy S8.
At-a-Glance on Always-on-Display: See things like calendar events and weather on your Lock Screen and Always-on Display.
I have always found it curious that Apple chose not to use the Lock Screen in a more productive fashion (widgets do not count). Just weather information could be easily included and it’s something I miss every day. And since we have a OLED screen on the iPhone X, that could be taken advantage of even further. Burn-in could present a problem and perhaps that is why Apple isn’t in on this, but I can imagine a scenario where one tap on a screen shows upcoming calendar events and the weather, while two taps wake the screen.
Computers are (partly) supposed to help us solve our problems. This isn’t being pursued as I had hoped it would be. We’re 11 years in and iOS still can’t do things that my simple Nokia could, such as setting it to Do Not Disturb mode for a precisely set amount of time. iOS 12 will introduce a few new features that help in this regard but there’s so much more that could be done. My iPhone know’s my daily schedule and how I use it — it should adapt automatically. When I walk into the gym, it should suggest launching Overcast and Workouts (on my Apple Watch). When I leave, it should suggest that I text my wife, informing her that I am on my way and share my ETA. When I get into my car in the parking lot beneath the gym, it should launch Waze and guide me to where she is. I do this every single day and I should not have to manually repeat these steps every time — the OS should have learned by now. It has my location, it knows my routine; it should help automate repetitive tasks automatically.
Chance Miller, for 9to5Mac:
First off, the report offers additional details on the 2018 iPad Pro dimensions. The 10.5-inch model is said to come in at 247.5mm (H) x 178.7mm (W) x 6mm (T), compared to the current dimensions of 250.6mm x 174.1mm x 6.1 mm.
Meanwhile, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is said to stack up at 280mm (H) x 215mm (W) x 6.4mm (T), which compares to the current-generation model at 305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9 mm. With these dimensions, it seems that Apple is focused more on reducing the overall footprint of the 12.9-inch model, fitting the same size display into a considerably smaller body.
While a larger screen to body ratio is always good, I hope the new iPads are lighter than the current models. If Microsoft can create an 800 gram Core i7 15” tablet (just the screen part from a Surface Book 2), I hope Apple can lower its 12,9-inch iPad from 692 grams to something more reasonable.
The report goes on to explain that Apple is likely to ditch the headphone jack with this year’s iPad Pro models, a move the company first made with the iPhone 7. While Apple includes a Lightning to 3.5mm headphone adapter to ease the blow for iPhone users, it will not do the same for iPad Pro users, according to today’s report.
I don’t much care for the headphone jack anymore but I am a bit concerned about the new iOS 12 gestures — I’ve come to really like how iOS 11 handles all the swipes — and the fact that the Face ID camera will only work in one orientation. Oh, and about that adapter — Apple used to include many small accessories in their products (cloths for wiping MacBook screens for example), which were a nice touch. I miss those.
What exactly this means is unclear, but the report explains that “the next iPad Pro Smart Keyboard may be changed to vertical position specifications.” This is seemingly implying that the iPad Pro would dock vertically into the Smart Keyboard, but how that would work is vague at the moment.
The iPad really should feature two Smart Connectors, so that it can be used in both portrait and landscape. I vastly prefer typing in portrait mode but prefer landscape for other things.
John Gruber, on Daring Fireball:
3D Touch is the sort of feature that either needs to be on all iPhones or else should be dropped. If it’s not pervasive across the entire platform, developers can’t count on it. I think that’s why it’s underutilized today. But it’s one thing to wait for older iPhones from the pre-3D Touch era to drop out of usage. It’s another for Apple to sell a brand new phone in 2018 without it.
I would happily replace my iPhone X with this new rumoured cheaper 6.1” device, but it will supposedly lack two things: the aforementioned 3D Touch layer and a dual camera system.
Apple will be able to use the camera as a differentiator in the close future, but as more and more Android phones adopt this technology, it will become a standard and expected feature quickly. But I cannot imagine them shipping a new iPhone without 3D Touch. We’ve been using it for three generations now, so it’s high time for it to be more pervasive across all devices, including iPads. Even if developers don’t actively support it, this is the single best way to manipulate the cursor and text on the iPhone. The iPad gets away with two fingers for now, but it really could use this tech.
Jason Snell, on Six Colours:
A reader on Twitter suggested I buy this iPad stand on Amazon, and I’ve been using it ever since. It’s surprisingly sturdy. The base that approximates the foot of an iMac is metal, not plastic. A hinge lets me pivot the iPad up and down and likewise doesn’t feel cheap. And the clip mechanism—the stand comes with clips for large and small iPads—is strong enough to hold my iPad without any worry of it sliding out. Best of all, the thing rotates, so I can use my iPad in portrait (for more words on the screen) or landscape (for use with Split View) as I see fit […]
I found what I think is the exact same model of stand that Jason is using, but available on Amazon.de in Europe — it’s under a different name though. I will be ordering this stand later today and hope it’s not a cheap knock-off.
[…] I replaced the Mini Tactile Pro with the Matias Laptop Pro, a Bluetooth mechanical keyboard with a silver-and-black style that fits in pretty well with my iPad and its stand. Until I find something better—let’s face it, I appear to be collecting mechanical keyboards—this is my preferred writing environment when I’m away from my desk. At least until my kids come home from school, at which point I have to go back into my office and close the door.
I’ve been tempted to buy a mechanical keyboard for my Hackintosh for a number of years now, but the WASD V2 that I want, with custom keys, is a bit too expensive to ship to Europe from USA. It doesn’t have Bluetooth either, so I couldn’t use it with my iPad Pro. Jason has tempted me to get the Matias, but it’s over 150 GBP to have it shipped to Poland from the UK — I’ll leave it on my wish list for now and continue using my Apple Wireless Keyboard in the meantime.
In a series of eight tweets, Bethany shared some interesting behind the scenes tidbits about the first iPad launch and other events surrounding it. One stood out to me:
(4) at one point steve wanted to turn UIKit elements orange. not just any orange, he wanted a particular orange from the button on a certain old sony remote. we got a bunch of remotes from sony with orange buttons to try and find the right one. in the end, steve hated it.
This sounds just like Steve Jobs — working to get every small detail perfect, but recognising a bad idea when he saw the final implementation.
For me the Surface Book 2 was the MacBook Pro that we had all wanted/expected from Apple, it just wears a different logo. While other reviews will read off the spec sheets and talk about the 17 hour battery life and GX yadda yadda yadda processor, they sometimes forget that we (the creative professionals) use these as tools. What Microsoft has done with the Surface Book 2 is make a system void of gimmicks, because gimmicks don’t hold up in the working world. Our jobs will not benefit from being able to tap an emoji on a scroll bar, they will benefit from the ability to get work done. As a photographer, it feels extremely odd to say this, but I sincerely feel that the Surface Book 2 is not only a strong contender for the laptop to own, but actually the clear cut choice of the computer to have on set.
I am so tempted by the Surface Book, just to use it with Lightroom. Switching out my MacBook Pro would however completely kill my workflow. And I definitely couldn’t live with it for writing — Windows is still missing crucial software and keyboard shortcuts. This doesn’t change the fact that the Surface Book is much more attractive than the MacBook at this point, while the iPad Pro is still lacking in software.
What if I told you that you could add a Retina Display to your MacBook Pro for under $100? And what would you think when I showed how it plugs into your computer?
The only use that I can see, for me personally, is for Lightroom. But only because Lightroom for iOS isn’t an exact equivalent of its desktop counterpart.
This also raises a few questions in regard to touch screens and Macs. Should Apple introduce touch to the Mac? Is this a niche product/need? Will the iPad with iOS 11 kill that need? Or with future releases, making iOS on iPads fully featured? Will there be a laptop with iOS in the near future? Will “the next big thing” arrive, replacing our need for smartphones and tablets, before iOS matures?
These are truly interesting times in tech, ones which I could not have imagined 30 years ago, sitting in front our IBM PC XT.
I wish the iPad had 3D Touch just to make positioning the cursor as easy as on the iPhone.
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.
I haven’t had enough time to think about all the WWDC 2017 announcements yet — there were so many — so I’ll most likely voice my thoughts and perhaps even come to some conclusions on a future podcast episode, but in the meantime, I wanted to share some of my thoughts and worries.
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