Tag Archives: ipad pro

Apple iPhone SE and the new Apple iPad Pro 9.7 inch

Currently Apple’s online store is down in preparation for the sales of their new iPhone SE and iPad Pro 9.7 inch.

In addition you can also buy new watch straps for the Apple Watch.

The iPad Pro 9.7 inch was nearly on my wish list, but when I heard Apple had dropped the ram from 4gb to 2gb versus the larger iPad Pro, that left me a little disappointed. Will this put you off?

With the iPhone SE starting at £359, this must be a winner for Apple. What do you think?

Advertisements

What makes the iPad Pro special? Is it really class leading? And worth £1,000? YES!

 

I have written several posts discussing some of my concerns regarding the iPad Pro but today I am going to tell you why it’s a bargain at £1,000.   

The iPad Pro comes with a really large canvas screen with iOS 9 multitasking options that do work really well. The Apple Keyboard shown in the above photos with the Apple Pencil is fantastic. It is so slim, fast and light that you can leave it attached all the time. 

And then comes the Apple Pencil that is getting around 12 hours battery usage from one charge. And in a clever Apple way, if you run short while drawing, just stick it into the iPad Pro for a quick 10 min charge. It may look cumbersome back actually its clever.  
 
The iPad Pro is the only iPad that allows for proper on screen drawing using the Apple Pencil and it is by far the best pencil/stylus available. The options are endless and only hindered by your own creativity. As a quick mockup, I used Adobe Sketch to import a photo and add some triangles, use the pen to add notes and the pencil too. But there are plenty other third party apps and Apple’s own Notes app that all use the Apple Pencil. And the options are endless with the Apple Pencil from drawings, sketches and one of the best note taking tools. 

So when you add everything together, with an astonishing solid 10 hours battery life from the iPad Pro, excellent loudspeakers which negate the need for a bluetooth speaker and all and all you have one powerful productivity and media consumption device that actually represents a new class of category of device. 

The issue becomes that at its price point it is invading other categories so one has to be very clear if this iPad is for you. For me personally, it is both marvellous and at time frustrating over little annoyances. It is too big in my opinion for browsing and playing games on the sofa, which is also compounded by its heavier weight. But listening to podcasts or watching films is epic. I also have the Steelstratus Nimbus MFI game controller and with the iPad Pro on a table playing games turns it into a new experience aided by the larger screen and 4 loudspeakers.  The full size Apple Keyboard cover works so well, and this whole post was typed on it. But I am left with a painful decision whether the iPad Pro stays or goes. At the moment, it is on death’s door, but then I spent Sunday using the Apple Pencil and realised I don’t have a single device that could repeat the drawing and note taking functionality. If I made a switch to an iPad Mini 4, I could play games and browse the internet from the comfort of my sofa, and without undertaking a weight training session at the same time! But then I would lose the fast keyboard entry, super large screen canvas, pencil and loudspeakers. Ultimately even using the iPad Pro without a smart cover or keyboard, its overall weight is uncomfortable after an hour or so and this might be the single factor why it goes. For its price point, I do believe its a gem of a device, just not for everyone. 

Is the iPad Pro an unfinished product, rushed out too soon? Or is there another problem?

Head over to Apple Support forums and Apple has acknowledged there is an issue where the iPad Pro stops working. This includes no screen response to tapping and in some cases a total blackout. Apple Support Article Link.

Is this the only issue? Nope. I have had a lengthy support conversation over connection issues only resolved by following the solution in the above Apple Support article linked above.  

The Verge and Re/Code published similar articles discussing whether the iPad Pro had an app problem. Link HERE.

And here I am exactly one week later with only 2 apps updated to support the iPad Pro – WordPress and Transistor. I am left with many apps still to be updated, all of which are using the old on screen keyboard which has keyboard keys too far apart. The new on screen keyboard is very good. 

Accessories – where are they? Clearly something was off schedule and the official Apple accessories are non existent. Even if you were fortunate enough to pick up the official Apple Keyboard, Apple is selling it only in US English and there is no option for UK English. The Apple Pencil is even rarer which has probably left even more people wanting one.  Both the Apple Keyboard and Pencil show a delay of 4-5 weeks online. 

So with blackouts, screen stops respondingt to taps, concern over apps and the lack of accessories I do wonder if Apple rushed the iPad Pro out ahead of time to catch the Christmas sales period. 

Last night I wanted to highlight a few words from a web page in safari. It was impossible to highlight the text correctly. For a device touted as a PC replacement, basic commands like copy and paste should work perfectly. 

For an experience that costs over £1,000, I am wondering if the iPad Pro is ready for prime time? 

iPad Pro – 5 Days Later – Now the honeymoon period is over 

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.

iPad Pro – Day 1 Thoughts from Mike

Regular reader Mike Paterson wrote in with his initial Day 1 Thoughts. Thanks Mike.

…………

iPad Pro ~ Initial Thoughts On Owning The Pro

Having now opened the box and taken the Pro from the container the temptation to wait for the iPencil was just to much to bear.

As such I hooked my Air 2 to my iMac and performed an encrypted backup.

With that done I connected the iPad Pro which immediately asked if I wanted the device as new or restore from a previous backup.

Choosing the latest Air 2 backup off it went chewing through the 85GB of data it needed to place on the Pro.

Being connected to the iMac and having a decent 50Mbps connection on BT Infinity 2 did help on the time but I was amazed that after just 20 minutes iTunes was quite happy to let the Pro loose.

So, with the Pro now on my lap (boy that was different to the Air 2) I started to go through all the places which I knew would take time in settling down.

My oh my, all the photos, videos, music, documents, everything and I do mean everything was there.

The only omission was a few Apps that didn’t finish but fear not iOS was busy busy downloading them happily over my home Wifi.

Ten more minutes or a somewhat 35 in total and the brand new not switched on Pro was now mimicking my Air 2 byte per byte…… although obviously in a much larger scale.
So, how do I feel about all of this?

It’s size makes it feel colossal when compared to the Air 2 and the weight although obviously heavier I am surprised for such a large device it doesn’t reflect the same in weight, actually it is quite light in a weird but wonderful way.
So, what’s it like to use?

I simply adore the new digital keyboard. This extra space has been used very well and I am glad the developers chose to make most if not all of the keys available without having to resort to tapping on the [.?123] key.

Talking of this key’ it was again lovely to see they added both an ‘undo’ and ‘redo’ key.

This is brilliant for stepping back and forward through typed text. Nice one Apple.

I also like the fact the space gives every key visual without having to go digging for where it lays. In fact the only key that is not on the main keyboard page is a new added key which again is brilliant and that is the […] key. Tapping on this saves having to tap ever ending full stops to get a series of lines which I like to add in my writing as it forms an expression of asking the reader to pause before continuing to read, as in:-

This is simply awesome …………… truly it is.

Those series of dots took 5 taps on the keyboard as opposed to 15. It all adds up to time saving.
The rest of Pro’s uses I will be testing over the next week or so whilst I wait for Apple to sort out their stock levels on the accessories for this beast.

Talking of accessories this is a fitting shot at listing some of the not so nice things about this device.
Negatives

My main gripe is with Apple not sorting out the accessories for the Pro.

Now I am going to choose my wording carefully here so please form you own impression but suffice to say I simply do not understand why Apple did not have in place an abundance of the two main accessories available to purchase on day one. Those being the iPencil and the Keyboard.

Let me get this straight. I just spent £799 on a 128GB iPad Pro that Apple’s chief says could replace my Laptop, but I have no way of knowing until the keyboard is available?

I also purchased the Pro with a high degree in use for creative Art and Painting, but again I have no way of knowing until the iPencil is available? 

I’m sorry but this makes absolutely no sense. Remember, Apples return policy affords customers 14 calendar days to return an item from the date you received it.

So what happens if these two accessories do not turn up in time and you find either don’t perform to your standards, you now can not return the iPad Pro!
Another gripe is the Home Screen layout.

It was fine back in both 2007 for the small iPhone and 2010 for the iPad. But now we have a much larger phones and this tablet. The Pro screen has way so much space, it’s wasted.

Put simply iOS Home screen layouts and App launching needs to be looked at.

I would much rather have the look and feel of OS X on the Pro. I can see iOS changing especially if Apple are going to continue bringing iOS and OS X closer together.

The Pro is perfect timing to start this off with a bang.
My other main gripe is a lack of Apps.

I don’t mean Apps in general that are used on the smaller iPads (never thought I would say that). No I’m talking about Apps that are specifically coded to utilise the size of the Pro. 

Apple have had two months to ensure they got more developers onboard and there is little news of Apps being added. It’s quite funny when you think about it but the main developer who has contributed well is Microsoft with Word, Excel and PowerPoint taking advantage of the 12.9″ screen.

Adobe is pushing support but where are the rest?
Okay, rants over…………… (again I love that key), I’m back to loving the Pro.

All this typed on the gorgeous built-in digital keyboard. Bless you Apple you got that part right.

iPad Pro – Testing the camera in low light – results

Yes I know, the iPad Pro is crazy huge to use for taking photos. But sometimes, the best camera is the one in your pocket. 

Now before you imagine me having tardis like pockets, which I do of course (joking) I was watching TV when Tiggy got ultra comfortable and I wanted to try and capture the moment. The only device with a camera within arms reach was my iPad Pro. So I thought, let’s give it a go. 

My lounge lighting was lowered so I knew this would be a tough challenge. I quietly detached the smart cover from the iPad so I wasn’t blocking the camera, held over Tiggy and took a shot. As the iPad Pro is so large and heavy, keeping the iPad still was really important but noticeably took a bit more effort to hold it steady.

Anyway, this is the shot from the iPad Pro. 

  
Tiggy certainly looks cute in this sleepy position. What you can’t see, one of my other labradors, Fury, is sleeping butted up to me on my left. George was snoozing next to my wife. Labradors are so human like at times!

iPad Pro – My First Impressions – Review

They say anything can happen in 24 hours, and in my case this occurred.

I have decided to make the most of the Apple eco system and no longer have a chromebook. Instead I have the new iPad Pro with the Apple Smart Keyboard.

This entire post was typed on the new keyboard too. 

This is my first impressions of the iPad Pro using it for several hours last night. I am sure my views will change slightly as time moves on. 

Apple’s system of online ordering to get the device first seems to be changing as on Wednesday several Apple stores had stock of the iPad Pro. I didn’t expect to buy one either, but a brief play with the device and I realised the potential and how much it would be ideal for myself. Little annoyances include the lack of the Apple Pencil, currently with a 4-5 week online waiting time. My local Apple store only had 2 Apple Smart Keyboards in stock, which after I left just left one. The keyboard is US English only which is annoying, but with some trial and error I discovered where the £ key was located. It is shift 3. 

The first thing that strikes you is just how big and beautiful the iPad Pro screen is and how everything just  feels so much more engaging. The iPad Pro is heavy, but not as heavy as expected. The Smart Keyboard is genius. It is so slim, making the overall profile when fitted incredibly thin looking. The speed of typing on the smart keyboard is very fast. At first, I was not convinced I would be keeping the keyboard longer term, but it really has grown on me, especially just how fast I can type across the keys. The on screen keyboard has been improved too, with a numbers row and shortcuts. This means that for some people, a separate keyboard will not be necessary. 

Split screen mode works really well and I like being able to have tweetbot running and web browsing on safari at the same time. Some apps clearly need updating as they look too scaled up. However, in time apps will get updated and new apps will arrive. Apps that have been optimised for the iPad Pro simply look gorgeous.

The iPad Pro has Touch ID, something for some reason I was not expecting. It also has Apple Pay/Wallet. On top of that you can use the tablet to take photos and annoy the world. Panoramas can be as large as 43mp. I am sorely tempted to try and take one too on the iPad Pro. 

The speakers on the iPad Pro are the best yet on an iPad. Clear, punchy and loud. Photos taken on my iPhone 6S Plus look amazing on the iPad Pro’s screen, although I expected nothing less.

Now Tim Cook made the statement that the iPad Pro is a PC replacement and I have to concede despite my reservations, that this device will replace my macbook pro which is now up for sale. Until you have used this device I don’t think it is possible to fully appreciate its finer qualities.

And yet, I still have the Apple Pencil to explore in a few weeks time!

iPad Pro – Why 12.9 inches is the right size – My First Look

Tomorrow I will share my first impressions on my iPad Pro after I have spent some time using it later tonight, but for now I want to share why 12.9 inches is the right size.

iPhones used to have a 3.5 or 4 inch screen so a 9.7 inch iPad offered a leap up in screen size. Move forward and with the new iPhone 6S Plus and its 5.5 inch screen, along with landscape support and its possible to do so much more with the larger iPhone screen. This in turn means the gap between 5.5 and 9.7 inch iPad was a much smaller leap forward. 

Now jump to the iPad Pro and all its 12.9 inch screen and suddenly everything justs feel better and different, more engaging, more everything. But Apple did something clever be choosing 12.9 inches. With split screen, the two screens are the same as having 2 iPad Air 2 in portrait mode. 

Now that is neat! And that is why 12.9 inches is the right size. 
PS. If you have any questions on the iPad Pro or Smart Keyboard, let me know in the usual way. Unfortunately, I don’t have the Apple Pencil yet.

The iPad Pro – Logic vs Lust vs Opinions

  

You may be asking what has the above edited photo got to do with the iPad Pro? Actually in my case quite a lot.

A few days ago, I posted about the high ticket price of owning an iPad Pro and asked the question is it worth the cost versus other forms of devices available from Apple and other companies.

Now all the reviews landed, and they were mixed. Some clearly in love with Apple Public Relations, and others providing a more realistic point of view. The reviews were mixed overall.

Last night I probably ended up watching far too many video reviews, but what I did learn is that the large sized iPad is a stunning piece of technology with loads of potential. I believe potential is the correct word, as once again apps will need to be updated to reflect the bespoke screen size and new apps will need to be released in due course.

The Apple Pencil and Apple Smart Keyboard are just as superb as the iPad Pro and I can see the potential once again.

So back to the edited photo embedded above. This was shot on my iPhone, edited in VSCO Cam and edited again in Photogene. Now if this photo was edited on my macbook, I would be using Lightroom 6. Photos snapped in RAW from my Sony RX100 have the option to be edited in Photomatrix Pro 5. These 2 photo editing programs possess huge editing capabilities and functionality, but they do not exist for iOS and or the iPad Pro. If they did, I could see myself using the iPad Pro instead of the macbook. But then some of the iOS photo editing apps are superb. So it all depends on what matters more to yourself.

Which takes me back to my conclusion, the iPad Pro with all the accessories is a fine piece of tech. Expensive and won’t be fully appreciated until apps catch up with this new powerhouse.

I know that several of you were disappointed with the Apple online ordering system. The Apple Pencil was not available for another 3-4 weeks after the iPad Pro was due to be delivered, and that the Smart Keyboard was only available in US English. Apparently, you can walk into several Apple stores and pick everything up. No mad queues this time!

So all I need now is a small lottery win, which is not likely.

Apple iPad Pro – On Sale Tomorrow – Would you spend £1,117 on an iPad?

Online orders for Apple’s new iPad Pro will start in 48 countries tomorrow and will go on general sale at Apple’s retail stores on Friday. The Apple Pencil and Apple’s new Smart Keyboard will also be available to order on Wednesday.

The iPad Pro is huge with a 12.9 inch screen. It weighs 713g so is around the same weight as the original iPad. Add a case and it will be noticeable heavy. However, it is a powerful beast with Apple’s A9X chip and 4GB of ram.

Prices for the iPad Pro start at £679 for the 32GB with Wi-Fi model and £899 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular 128GB model in the UK. There is no 64gb model. Its 32gb wifi only or 128gb wifi + cellular. The Apple Pencil will cost £79 and the smart keyboard £139. (In the US, prices start at $799 for 32GB up to $1,079 for the 128GB Wi-Fi and Cellular version).

That means if you need more than 32gb storage, you have to jump to the 128gb model which costs £899. Then add the smart keyboard and pencil and now you are talking £899 + £79 + £139 = £1,117. Woah!

£1,117 for an iPad!

For £1,117 you could buy an Apple MacBook Air, Mac and even a MacBook Pro and use professional applications and more. You can even buy a number of Apple’s normal size iPads. In fact you can buy 3 x Apple iPad Mini 4 iPads!

This makes the reason to buy the iPad Pro a tricky one because what will you use it for that can’t be achieved by something a fraction of the price?