What Apple’s iPad Pro still needs to make it truly professional grade

“I love my iPad Air 2. So much that I’m grudgingly willing to put up with its compromises and limitations as a production tool in order to take advantage of its virtues,” Charles Moore writes for MacPrices. “However, since a computer for me is essentially a work tool, communication platform, and information access device, the necessity of said putting up with is an ongoing source of frustration, especially the several key tasks in my workflow that the iPad simply can’t perform, keeping me on my Macs for about half of my screentime.”

“I love my Macs too, and I’m in no hurry to abandon the power and slickness of OS X, which is good because Apple is so far showing no indication of being ready to bend on its stubborn refusal to make a few relatively simple changes that would give production oriented iPad users the functionality and capability we’ve been calling for since 201,” Moore writes. “Apple’s choices are especially evident in the iPad Pro, which despite its being touted (and priced) as professional grade hardware, is still cumbered with pretty much the same productivity deficiencies as my iPad Air 2, most of which are software issues.”

“However, not entirely,” Moore writes. “In my estimation, the iPad has three major hardware shortcomings.”

1) Limited connectivity — i.e.: no MicroUSB support
2) No expansion options (no microSD card slot)
3) No mouse support

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Making an iPad Pro more Mac-like seems to be a request of those stuck in old ways of thinking.

The iPad Pro is not meant for older generations. Unless they are willing to completely unlearn and let go of old tricks and learn new ones. That’s very tough to do for some… iPad Pro and iOS are really for the young and for future generations. It is the future. Until the next paradigm shift, perhaps decades away, Multi-touch will be how most people compute, not with physical keyboards, mice, cursors, exposed file systems, etc. — MacDailyNews, December 18, 2015


  1. @MDN. You seem to be neglecting the glaring fact that many professional workflows require the use of multiple apps for a single file. This is not practical on an iPad Pro, since there is no file system, whereby files can be opened in multiple apps! And one more thing, apps like Numbers and GarageBand are pure crap when it comes to power users! Therefore, it seems like you’re saying power users are equivalent to people stuck in old ways of thinking, which is complete BS. Apple isn’t actually targeting “pro users” with an iPad Pro (if they are, then Apple are idiots). Instead Apple seems to be attempting to create a new category of users called “pro” who aren’t actually pro, by pro standards, if they’re able to get all their work done in a single app on an iPad Pro. Let’s hear your witty response to this!

    1. “power users are equivalent to people stuck in old ways of thinking”

      By default, power users ARE stuck in old ways of thinking, that’s what makes them power users of a particular platform. When the next big thing comes, they’re so wedded to the OLD way, that they are never able to be as efficient with any new tech than their old stuff that they’re a power user in.

        1. Man..solid response. Shows the extreme flaw and tech prejudice in the “new way vs old way” rhetoric. Ignores the fact that ways are not defined by “new” or “old”, but by “flexible”, “powerful” and ultimately “best available”.

  2. What exactly is the appeal of using an iPad as one’s primary or sole computing device? I get by just fine with my Macbook Air and iPhone 6+. My iPad Mini is mostly unused except as a second display with the Duet app. Apple doesn’t want you replacing your laptop anyway, they want you to have a Macbook AND an iPad AND an iPhone, at least. They aren’t going to make the straightforward software changes that’ll make an iPad fully functional for professionals.

    On a side note I think having mouse support is a pefectly legit desire and not an “old way of thinking”. Raising your hand to the screen dozens of times an hour is the big step backwards, not moving a device a few inches to achieve the same thing.

  3. 5) multiple instances of same app running.

    @MDN you are absolutely presumptuous and extremely simple minded in stating that I am stuck in old ways of thinking because I need to run multiple spreadsheet programs concurrently. Minimum 2, but most of the time 3-4. This is the era of BIG DATA, folks. We need more power and flexibility to manage all that information. Just because some folks, like MDN, only need one instance of Pages and one of Safari to work and say that is the end-all-be-all for what a “pro” needs is just ludicrous!

    1. “5) multiple instances of same app running.”

      What? Are you stuck in PC/DOS or early versions of Windows skins over PC/DOS? (Even this ludicrous concept of requiring multiple instances of an app running in order to work with multiple files on the latest versions of Windows trace this requirement back to DOS.)

      Mac System Software didn’t and now Mac OS doesn’t require multiple copies of an application to be running in order to work with multiple files (or even multiple variants of the same file).

      What iOS needs to be able to do is run multiple apps on the screen concurrently (not just two in limited situations) and run multiple files on screen concurrently in the same app. Neither of these requires the asinine, bloatware concept of concurrently running multiple instances of the same app.

      1. You undermine your own argument by intentionally comparing Apples to oranges. This is 2016, no 2012. So anyone choosing between an iPad Plus (“Pro”) and a Mac would have the choice of current hardware 4 years newer than your classic iMac.

        current MacBook Pros and the 21.5″ iMac have a native resolution of 3840 x 2160

        27″ iMac has a native resolution up to 4096 x 2304

        External non-Apple displays, of course, can take you as high or higher in size and/or resolution.

        Reality is, if resolution or GPU performance matters to you, then tablets and netbooks are not where you need to be. The are not, and never will be, the primary machine of choice for cutting edge graphics and video work.

        1. Wasn’t saying it was huge. Wasn’t saying it was bigger that a 27 screen (obviously). Was saying it isn’t tiny..not by pixel density or actual size. Also wasn’t saying it could replace my workhorse iMac. I’d replace my “classic” iMac..but it works too well. Don’t take forum comments so seriously..unless you think the pro really is tiny, lol

          1. Well, count me as confused too. On a Mac, you have both larger dimension screen AND equal or better resolution, AND the ability to drive multiple monitors. So why again did you even start comparing screens between an iPad and an iMac ???

  4. I’d settle for Apple just updating its own apps for the pro..and better sharing between apples apps (like use iBooks as container for PDFs with ability to open them in other apps from there). I can markup a pdf within mail (as attachment) but can’t in pages?? Wtf

  5. Use a truck for the heavy lifting. Use your sports car to race around town. Isn’t that essentially what Steve Jobs said? The younger generation does not need a truck. Their sports car does everything they need it to do. They live on their phones and tablets and that works for them. The iPad Pro is “Pro” because it does things other iPads don’t. The screen is larger, it has more RAM, and it supports Apple Pencil. The iPad Air 3 may erase some of those distinctions (except the larger screen size), but the iPad Pro is truly an upgraded experience when compared to a 9.7 inch iPad or an iPad Mini (at least in my opinion). Trucks still have their purpose. I still love my MacBook Pro, and working in IT, I use it everyday. When I am at home, my iPad does the trick beautifully. Use the right device for the right situation. That is the message getting lost here. The iPad Pro is not a laptop replacement. No one, including Apple, should position it that way. It is designed to do exactly what it was designed to do. If you want a Microsoft Surface, buy one. Apple does not make one.

  6. I actually have a slightly chipped teacup and saucer which has “apple pro” scrawled in black marker on it. It about matches the level of innovation Apple is capable delivering to its pro users these days. Yours for $99.

    1. please offer us something meaningful and insightful, Meca. pause before opening your virtual mouth to consider how you will be regarded on the Interweb: dullard or delightfully thoughtful.
      odds are you don’t own an iPad Pro, and probably haven’t handled one, so that strangely lessens your ability to cobble together words that make sense or serve this blog’s readership about this topic. think more smartly please.

  7. I love my iPad Pro. I find it to be the best device ever mad for image manipulation due to being able to interact directly with the image and the tool (Pencil) instead of having to look up at a screen while using another device that is separate. It is the most “pro” device out there for this specific task.

    For many people it is “pro” enough if they’re doing the simple tasks it’s capable of as a general computing device or if they’re using vertically integrated apps.

    However there are things that could open it up to more people using it as “pro”.

    One thing keeping me from using it for Office Suite (unless really needed) is that it lacks a trackpad for the keyboard. This is a shame. They could’ve implemented 3D Touch cursor control on the space bar.

    The MicroUSB or SD slot really isn’t much of an issue considering how many adapters and wireless options there are.

    The lack of a file system can be a bit annoying at times, especially in areas without connectivity (and this Dropbox or iCloud), but the ability to move between apps is constantly improving.

    The other issue is that while there are tons of apps for the iPad, there are tons of apps that do specific tasks that can’t be done on the iPad. For example, no meta-tagging media files. Likewise the other day there was a post here about lack of image size/resolution/scale manipulation. You’re also ad a disadvantage if ever your workflow relies on any scripting (no, the WorkFlow app doesn’t always cut it).

    The bottom line is that for some people, even the dumbest smartphone is “pro” enough. The iPad Pro is “pro” enough for a lot of people, but there’s still a lot that Apple could do (and likely will) to make it more “pro” for more people. For some people with advanced or specialized needs, it will never be “pro” enough.

  8. I am very happy with my iPad Pro. It was purchased to augment my MacBook Pro, not replace it. It does eliminate the legal pad and speeds PDF editing and workflow processes. For meetings, phone notes, outlining, document editing, web surfing etc. it is just fine. For image, database and spreadsheet projects and running two 27″ monitors – that’s what my Mac is for. People complaining because it has no mouse really do not get it. If you need a little computer with a mouse, buy a MacBook Air. Owners tell me they are excellent computers.

  9. @ kevicosuave
    In iOS 9, you can turn the entire software keyboard into a gigantic trackpad by using a two-finger touch. The entire keyboard area turns gray and you can control the insertion point I beam wherever you want it go by sliding your two fingers over the keyboard area like a normal trackpad.
    The software keyboard has to be active to do this, though.
    I haven’t discovered a way, yet, to bring up this trackpad feature when using a Bluetooth keyboard, though

  10. I can’t really imagine ever doing software development on an iPad, pro or otherwise. I’m a professional software developer. Am I crying because I can’t replace my Mac with my iPad? No. I also don’t cry when I can’t take my 27″ inch iMac to the dentist’s office. Is it not clear that the iPad and the iPad Pro are both “mobile” devices? Are some professional activities difficult to support in a mobile environment? Sure. First, the was the iPad, then, along came the iPad Pro, which carried the “Pro” postfix on its name, to indicate that it was more than an iPad. What is with this obsession to see the iPad replace the Mac? It makes no sense to me. There are different tools for different jobs. Just because one tool is not the right tool for your job is not really a reason to litter the web with complaints that Apple didn’t support your line of work with its latest model.

  11. IPad Pro with Pencil – The first products Apple has released in a long time that shows real love for creative professionals. I have made my living for 25 years as a composer and a visual artist. I have been dreaming of the pencil and iPad Pro large screen for years. It’s a dream come true and an essential and time saving part of my workflow now.

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