Things about the iPad Pro that widely misunderstood

“It surprises me that a lot of people have been quick to highlight what they think are apparently major shortcomings with the iPad Pro, seemingly writing it off before most of them have even seen one in person,” Sanjiv Sathiah writes for MacNN.

“While it may or may not be another hit product from Apple, there are a couple of aspects about it that have been widely misunderstood. One centers around the question of whether or not it is a genuine notebook replacement, and the other centers around its ‘inability’ to run full desktop versions of apps, like Adobe Photoshop, for example,” Sathiah writes. “Have people learnt nothing from Apple’s recent history?”

“A lot of criticism that has been leveled at the 12-inch Retina MacBook for example, and the iPad Pro seems to stem from the fact that these, for most power users, [are] not devices that can be your only computing device. That they are not for everyone, for one reason or another, seems to have caused undue consternation,” Sathiah writes. “What critics should be focusing on is what they can do for certain sets of users. When looked at these devices through this lens, they make much more sense, and will offer these users undoubted appeal.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: People often ask us why we choose the 11-inch MacBook Air, of all things, for our mobile Macs and why we’ll likely choose 12-inch MacBooks next, if we don’t choose iPad Pros instead.

Portability. Period.

That’s it. That’s our specific use case. Can it run a browser, Mail, Messages, Pixelmator, and TextEdit (yup) while we’re on the road? Check! Okay, then, which weighs the least? We’ll take it!

“Bu, bu, but, it’s re-gawd-damn-dicuolous that there’s only one port on the MacBook!” some scream. Ad nauseam, no less. Guess what? We don’t care! For us that’s one port too many. We’ll never use it. Imagine that. If Apple made a MacBook with no ports and it weighed even less, we’d buy those instead.

If you’re going to be doing other things on-the-go, you might choose a MacBook Pro. That doesn’t make the MacBook or the iPad Pro a “mistake” by Apple. Those devices are just not for you vs. what the MacBook Pro offers for your specific needs. That’s why Apple offers a full range of portable computing options, from the iPod touch to the MacBook Pro.

23 Comments

  1. I finally got my keyboard for my iPad Pro today. I move smoothly between touching the screen and typing on the keys. It can very easily replace a laptop for most users. I would bet that at least 75% of computer users could live with the iPad Pro and keyboard and cloud storage acting as their main hard drive.

    The big problem I see is the lack of applications. To pick an example, if I launch Facebook right now, it delivers gigantic text with no way of adjusting it. Images are unnecessarily, (meaning ridiculously) large.

    I belive this will continue with many applications because the developers don’t feel it is worth their time to upgrade their apps just for the iPad Pro, for many reasons.

    1. I’m confused. How difficult is it for a developer to update their app for iPad Pro? Didn’t Apple create developer tools for this several years ago? Wasn’t that the big clue that larger iPhones were coming? How much work does a developer really have to do?

      1. Its not if you use the API’s provided by Apple. But Facebook basically ignores this in favour of their own in-house developed API’s. It’s also why their app is so big for what it does.

      2. A good programmer would develop aps yo scale to any screen size. Think ahead and never have to worry about it, aside for testing and maybe a couple of tweaks to get fonts sizes right. It really shouldn’t be that difficult.

  2. The real confusion is that some people think iPad Pro is Apple’s Microsoft Surface. No, iPad Pro the opposite of Surface.

    Surface – A Windows PC that tries to double as a tablet, marketed as “a tablet that can replace a laptop.” Microsoft knows it can’t beat iPad as a tablet, so the laptop part is highlighted in marketing. It’s a Windows PC first, complete with keyboard that has a trackpad.

    iPad Pro – An iPad with a larger screen. It is designed (hardware and software) to be a tablet computer, not a laptop replacement. Keyboard (no trackpad) optional.

    1. Spot on. Microsoft has made another set of attempts to get its original historical attempt at a desktop tablet to catch on and for some its probably is good enough for them. But it is not the ideal solution in reality even if it probably looks like it on paper, just too many compromises at too much cost. My partner was going to get a combo Acer laptop/tablet which at first sight seemed to be cheap and better than her now struggling 4 year old HP laptop. However when I looked at it to actually up its capabilities to anything remotely equivalent to a standard laptop it was ridiculously expensive by comparison.

      Ideally a tablet like the iPad will be far better if it can have software designed ground up for its input than a compromised laptop mimicking a tablet if it can get the software. The Pro will probably help in this regard but how well it solves that problem generally and generates specialist software for it will dictate the shape of computing over the next 5 years or so I think.

    2. Agreed.

      The iPad Pro is a very powerful tablet computer, with capabilities beyond any “laptop” while able to stand in for many of the functions of a laptop/desktop. Until the developers of pro software embrace the iPad (as AutoDesk and Adobe are moving to do) then we will continue to need laptops/desktops.

      The real confusion most people seem to be caught up in is the real differences between the UI of the iPad vs the laptop/desktop. For me, the intuitiveness of a touchscreen, supplemented with the sub-pixel precision of Apple Pencil, is a better UI then a mouse, which I haven’t used in years, or a trackpad. I wish Apple had included haptic feedback in the Pencil to provide a “button” i.e. Pop and peek but I look forward to seeing how software developers continue to expand the selection capabilities of the iPad Pro touch interface. A keyboard is still a must have input device, though I get along fine with an onscreen keyboard a majority of the time.

  3. No MDN, Portability will no doubt sell lots of units BUT if it was combined with Connectivity the sales would be a multiple thereof.

    There are times when you need to connect to your computer with any number of items and that interaction does not want to be crippled by the need to carry a pocket full of dongles for the sake of a port or 3. Even coffee shop web surfers would benefit.

  4. I tried it yesterday at the Apple Store in San Diego.

    I still think the device is super cool. I tested the pen and it was outstanding.

    I still believe it doesn’t deserve the “Pro” suffix. It’s still a consumer product. An outstanding consumer product. But it’s far from Pro.

    Like the iPad, it’s a device I can use for my daily tasks without depending on a laptop. But, as a Pro user, just power doesn’t cut it. I need to be able to tweak the device as I please. I should be able to install whatever I feel like, outside the Apple Store (which, once again, is great for a consumer level). As a Pro, I should not be limited to consume apps, but to build apps.

    Sure, that’s not what 75% of people don’t need. That’s because they are not pros.

    But I’d love an iPad with real pro features. Not dissing the iPad Pro as a product. It’s awesome. But it should not have been called “Pro”.

    My opinion only. I could be mistaken.

    1. Reviews by a number of “Pros” in different fields disagree with you.

      As it appears more and more likely that an iPad Pro will be my next iPad, I can assure you that this pro will certainly be putting it “Pro” use.

      1. I agree, for artists and photo pros, the iPad is a very compelling product. I was curious about maybe getting one for watching movies/TV shows while traveling (a bigger iPad), but after playing around with Photoshop on it, I’m pretty hooked on getting one for my photography work.

  5. “For us that’s one port too many. We’ll never use it. Imagine that. If Apple made a MacBook with no ports and it weighed even less, we’d buy those instead.”

    This a fringe, minority opinion. There are alternatives and workarounds to wired peripherals, but the effort and costs involved is far greater than simply removing the CD drive as Apple did with the original Air.

    Some of the uses I have for ports:
    -Timemachine backups
    -transfer of photographs from SD cards to computer
    -external microphone for podcasts
    -attaching to a projector for presentations
    -thumb drive for taking items to the print to the print shop (I don’t have a printer)
    -thumb drive for passing off large files like when using another computer for a presentation
    -USB modem for when you don’t have access to wifi

    I don’t have wifi 100% of the time and spotty wifi is far more common than a dead thumb drive. As the technology evolves and people buy new hardware, the need for ports will diminish, but I think this will take years. I think it’s what will limit the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement too, despite it being a fine piece of hardware.

    Speaking of weight though. The iPad Pro with keyboard (2.33 lbs) weighs more than the new Macbook (2.03lbs) basically the same as the 11-inch Macbook (2.38lbs) and slighly less than the 13-inch Air (2.96lbs). As long as you have to carry it in a bag or under your arm, 0.5-1 lbs of weight difference is not worth the tradeoff in ports, not to mention the OS.

  6. How I wish Tim Cook had never said anything about the iPad Pro being a replacement for some other type of computer. I had a feeling it would cause people to go ballistic. Every user has their own specific needs. The iPad Pro might be a replacement for some people but not others. That goes for any product. You could say a toaster is a good replacement for a toaster oven if you only make toast or pop tarts. It’s still odd to make such a big deal over a difference of opinion. Is there any one device that’s perfect for everyone? It appears that Microsoft is making a similar claim about the Surface Pro 4.

    1. Go back to your sources, macnificentseven48.

      Tim Cook did not present the iPad Pro as a replacement for anything. What he said, however, is that he has personally taken to the device as his principal work machine when travelling. He now travels, only with an iPad Pro and an iPhone.

  7. People are not to blame..
    Apples choice of calling it Pro is the reason..
    Although its an awesome product with very nice capabilities…A pro device should satisfy the minimum criteria of being a professional device..
    Applications are core to that.

  8. Most people are morons. Articles like this merely illustrate the point. What is even worse is that some morons actually get paid to publish their moronic opinions on the web.

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