How Apple’s iPad Pro measures up as a photographer’s tool

“Photographers have been drawn to the iPad since the first model, hoping it can provide a mobile workflow when they’re away from their computers,” Jeff Carlson writes for Macworld. “The iPad Pro pushes the boundaries of tablets in interesting ways as a general-purpose laptop replacement, but how does it change the photography game?”

“Editing photos, especially with the addition of Apple Pencil support in some apps, is a definite improvement,” Carlson writes, “though limitations in iOS keep the iPad Pro from achieving its full potential as a photographer’s mobile companion.”

“As with many things about the iPad Pro, the superior hardware is waiting for the software to catch up,” Carlson writes. “Gradually, third party developers are adding Pencil support for image retouching, which is a welcome jump forward… Granted, iOS has always been designed for the broadest possible audience, and even in a device labeled “Pro” that same foundation applies. Now that the iPad Pro is released, I’m holding out hope that Apple will take action to help it fulfill its potential.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Imagine an “iOS Pro” mode.

Turn on iOS Pro on your iPad Pro
1. Tap Settings > General, and make sure iOS Pro is turned on.
2. There is no step two.

Hey, we can dream, can’t we?

Pro photographers: A couple weeks with iPad Pro and Apple Pencil made us fall in love – December 1, 2015
PC Magazine reviews Apple Pencil: Must-have device, your iPad Pro’s go-to companion – Editors’ Choice – November 24, 2015
The Pen Addict reviews Apple Pencil: Astounding, thoroughly impressive – November 23, 2015
Jony Ive: Apple Pencil is for making marks, the finger is the interface for iOS – November 18, 2015
New Apple Pencil stock begins arriving at some U.S. Apple Retail Stores – November 17, 2015


  1. @MDN: Slightly better still, I reckon:

    – If it’s an iPad Pro it defaults to “iOS Pro”
    – If it’s not it defaults to normal iOS
    – In both cases it can be changed in Settings -> General, but you may never have to change anything.

      1. I sense a contradiction. You want only ONE iOS, yet you mention a new, old or is it hybrid OSX MOBILE?

        Never mind. 🙂

        The fact the author pointed to is iOS is anything but PRO. Yet, Apple brillantly created and named ANOTHER hardware device — PRO.

        So, who is to blame for the lack of PRO SOLUTIONS? Apple for the iOS or developers for their programs?

        I don’t see how ONE iOS can be all things to all people of all ages. Life doesn’t work that way (Pre-school to G.E.D. to Doctorate).

        Apple makes many PRO PRODUCTS. It is LONG OVERDUE Apple needs to make a PRO-OS to complement and UNLEASH the power of PRO HARDWARE.

        Unless you are into one-size-fits-all solutions. Thankfully, I only have to deal with that around election time.

        1. Mac OS has always had variations within it to take account of different machines, and their capabilities and indeed iOS does the same as older ones don’t give you the full updated experience. There is no reason the same approach should not work with iPads with greater hardware capabilities at greater cost without there having to be branded changes of such abilities or limitations. That sounds so Microsoft of old and they have ditched that much denigrated regime and fundamentally followed Apples approach, indeed taken it further if anything.

      2. Tend to agree with you. iOS spent too much time sitting on its laurels, for example I really needed split screen mode on my iPad last night and been seeing potential advantages for it for over 2 years yet it has taken this long to even introduce it at all and not for my iPad. it showed me that the iPad is still a long way yet from replacing my Mac and Apple has of course deliberately taken that road to keep them separate with lets be honest the Surface forcing their hand of late to change track.

        The last update was a big move forward for iOS but they do still have a couple years of stagnation to catch up on and that should come in 2016 as a single effort even if there is a simple ‘switch’ to turn off unwanted functions for the standard user.

  2. I got the iPad pro pretty much solely to edit photos. It pretty much exceeds my expectations in every way except in photo management. This wouldn’t have been an issue if Apple hadn’t killed Aperture.

  3. This device needs the pen to be a real value to consumers, why apple would nickel and dime people over the pen makes no sense.

    All I can say is hang in there Amazon, Google, Microsoft…
    More and more of us are looking before we leap.

    1. Well there is little to back up your claim there is there just your desire to feel one of an imaginary crowd I suspect, the sort of marketing approach Samsung tried so embarrassingly as it turned out, for so long to infuse people with the idea of jumping ship. The cost of the Surface is horrendous if you want it to do what you need as a pro machine (not to mention its reported lack of reliability), so even though I agree with your contention Apple is dumb to price the peripherals the way they did, in reality it it isn’t a deal breaker if you look at it objectively, especially considering the superior nature of the Apple Pencil though not in my opinion the keyboard, but then many others are available.

  4. Get over it. Apple simply uses the term “Pro” to denote its top-of-the-range model: Mac Pro, Macbook Pro, iPad Pro. It is simply marketing. They may as well call it “XL” or “Max”. The moniker Pro does not imply that it will run special software or that it has to be used to generate income for its owner. Apple’s marketing is at least as strong as its technical competencies.

  5. Seems like the ipad Pro will be a really ggreat tool for photographers. Two things have to (and will) happen.
    First, more apps for the device. It’s still early days, and this will change over time.

    two- idiots have to stop writing comments about failure of any product before the product has had a chance to affect the industry it is aimed at.

    1. “Seems like..”
      Ok, so you’re not a professional photographer, but you think you can tell us what we should think about this product, AND call anyone who can see it’s not ‘Pro’ in any sense of the word ‘idiots’.
      You are the idiot.

  6. “But the lack of RAW support in iOS hinders pro and enthusiast photographers from developing workflows that avoid duplicating work or depending on a Mac to get started.”

    Pro photographers work with RAW files. No RAW support and no file management possibilities remove iOS from consideration as a pro photographer tool, except as a pretty display for finished products.

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