Yesterday Mike gave his first day opinions his iPad Pro. Today is day 5 with mine and I would like to share my ongoing thoughts.
Without a doubt all the ooooh and aaahhs are over and now it’s down to real business with the iPad Pro with the positive and negatives.
Setting up the iPad Pro was done in stages. First the essential apps, then 4,000 songs and photos and finally bumping the app/games quantity up to around 169 apps/games.
This is where the negatives really lie with apps that need updating. Apart from looking too blown up with ultra large fonts and graphics , the onscreen keyboard is the old version without the numbers row, which also is oversized and harder to type on as the keyboard keys are too large and far apart. If developers fail to update their apps this could be problematic. The Smart Keyboard gets around this issue but does add extra weight to the overall package. The Smart Keyboard weights 337g. The Smart Cover 162g. The iPad Pro weights 713g.
So apps need updating, even some of Apple’s apps, and being honest I have more hope these will hopefully receive the necessary updates. Even if they don’t they are still usable. The biggest problem is games. I installed loads of games. I own over 500 before I lost the will to carry on counting them. I carefully choose around 100 of my favourite games and ended up with around 60. Some would start and then crash. Some didn’t fit on the screen properly and others just would not start at all. I also tested the games for MFI Game Controller support with my Nimbus game controller. That ended up showing around 20 games worked with this controller which was reasonable. However, the level of controller integration varied but this is not an issue with the iPad Pro, but the general game controller support which is still not supported properly by developers.
At the weekend I bought a Smart Cover which cost a crazy £49. If you want the smart case which is the bottom half that costs even more. This pricing is an absolute rip off. However, the Smart Cover does work very well and the on screen keyboard is the best in the business. In fact, this whole post was typed on the on screen keyboard and at super fast speeds with auto correction doing a marvellous job. This leaves me with a decision. The Apple smart keyboard is truly magnificent, very slim but does make a difference to the combined weight. Also it’s a bit of a nuisance when not using it, and it’s feels odd being only able to use the iPad in one position for typing. With the Smart Cover the keyboard typing position is my favourite as it also makes reading stuff on the screen that little bit easier due to the slightly raised angle. The smart keyboard on the other hand is fixed in a more upright position. I am so undecided on whether to keep or return the keyboard currently. If only the smart keyboard had one extra resting position. After typing this paragraph I have decided to keep the Smart Keyboard and return the cover, as I have worked out I can raise the iPad Pro slightly when browsing on my lap using the keyboard. I also think my muscle memory has changed, and I am now finding opening the keyboard faster and more natural.
However, the smart keyboard also frustrates me that Apple excluded any smart keys. If you buy the Logitech Create Keyboard you get loads of special keys eg brightness, volume etc.. However, the Logitech keyboard adds significant weight and bulk.
I still don’t have the Apple Pencil. I have ordered one online, but I’m hoping stock will arrive at a store sooner. This will hopefully add to the user proposition and ultimately my experience.
The iPad Pro really scores positively due to its large screen and iOS 9 multitasking and split screen and two thirds / one third screen modes. Also photo and video editing is a dream on the iPad. The speakers are so much better than any other iPad and by a fair margin. iMovie works really effortlessly and the apps that are customised make light work of certain tasks. That is fundamental difference of the iPad Pro versus say a MacBook Air. I still have a hard time accepting the price of the iPad Pro but I cannot deny it fits really well into my life and offers me more value than a MacBook.
Update – I have just had WordPress updated and this is for the iPad Pro. The difference before and after is huge. No more huge fonts and text. The full screen of the iPad Pro is fully utilised and also the new onscreen keyboard is active.