The iPad has long been my favorite device that Apple makes. My journey with the iPad started in 2011 with the iPad 2nd generation. This device quickly became one of my most used devices, but I never remotely considered it to replace my laptop. Apple went on to introduce the iPad Pro in 2015 and was pushing it as a computer replacement. It was not.
The original iPad Pro had several critical flaws:
- Connecting external devices to it was limited to some cameras
- No real files app
- Mobile Safari
- Only one instance of an app at once
- Multitasking was cumbersome
- Unlike macOS, couldn’t drag content from one app to another. Copy and Paste only
Apple has since whack a mole in an effort to bring it closer to replacing a laptop for most people.
The hardware on the new iPad Pro is killer. Apple has made the body of the iPad thinner, down to 5.9mm. Several users have reported bending over time, but I have not experienced any changes since purchasing the device. The overall volume of the 12.9-inches body is also significantly smaller, thanks to the reduction of the top and bottom chin.
The screen of the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro is nearly identical to the previous model, excluding the rounded corners.
One of the biggest changes to come to the new iPad is the addition of USB-C, which replaces the lightning connector. USB-C brings new features including the ability to charge your iPhone or other device directly from the iPad. Unfortunately, Apple has also removed the headphone jack. I would like to see a second USB-C port come to the iPad in a future model.
Smart Keyboard Folio
Apple has redesigned the Smart Keyboard for the new iPad Pro’s by making it a folio. Rather than connecting magnetically on the side of the iPad, it connects to the back. The new design is much simpler and stable than the previous. It also gives two angles the iPad can stand at; one for your lap and one for your desk.
When the keyboard box was originally opened, the smell of glue was horrendous. After a few days it dissipated.
I would like to see function keys and backlighting come to the keyboard in the future.
Apple Pencil (2nd Generation)
Apple has updated the Apple Pencil. The pencil now magnetically attaches and wirelessly charges on the side of iPad Pro. Apple has also introduced a new gesture which can switch tools by double tapping the pencil. I had to turn this off due to unintended taps.
IPadOS brings many changes and improvements.
From most use cases, I actually find multitasking on iPadOS more productive than any other operating system. The ability to have multiple apps in slide over has made me fast and productive. I would like the option to make the slide over window shorter and floating anywhere on the display.
One of the things that I absolutely hate about iPadOS is the Files app. The feature set and design is very good, but the execution is poor. The app experience is plagued with glitches, crashes, and sync issues. The overall experience is truly dreadful.
Apple has cut the latency in iPadOS By half, making it register on the display faster. Apple has also made it so when Apple Pencil swipes up from a bottom corner, it takes a screenshot and opens markup.
One of my favorite parts of iPadOS 13 is Safari. Apple has brought desktop-class browsing to the iPadOS app, which tricks the website into thinking the iPad is a Mac. This enables websites such as Google Docs to perform the same as on a desktop.
Apple has also added a downloads manager to Safari.
With iPadOS 13 and macOS Catalina, Apple introduced a new feature called Sidecar. This allows an iPad to function as a second display to a modern Mac, wired or wirelessly. From my experience, this worked really well with very little latency.
iPadOS is a giant leap towards becoming a very powerful device, but its not a computer replacement. In the years ahead, I believe that the iPad will get closer to replacing a computer, but never quite reach it. Always half way closer.
- Make the Shortcuts app more like Automator on macOS. Allow it to create folder-based automations as well.
- Bring true mouse support to iPadOS
- Bring Smart Playlists to Media apps and Smart Folders/Rules to Mail
- Add the option to import content into media apps
- Take advantage of the large display on the iPad Pro in more apps
- Add the ability to set 3rd party apps as default
- Add tabs in apps to Pages, Notes, etc
- Bring professional apps to the iPad
- Pin apps in Safari
- Bring more apps from iPhone to iPad
Overall, my iPad Pro is my favorite device. I find myself more productive and the overall experience very enjoyable. I believe that the iPad Pro to be a laptop replacement for most people, but NOT a computer replacement entirely. Here’s my ideal device setup.
- An iMac or Desktop Computer at Home. Multiple users
- An iPad for light work and when on the go. One user
What do you think? Comment below!
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