The Verge reviews the new iPad Pro: Apple’s approach to iOS is holding back powerful hardware in serious ways

“Apple gave me a completely maxed-out 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 1TB of storage, LTE, and the optional $199 Smart Keyboard Folio and $129 Apple Pencil to review. That makes for $2,227 of iPad Pro — more than all but one standard MacBook Pro configuration,” Nilay Patel writes for The Verge. “It is impossible to look at a device this powerful and expensive and not expect it to replace a laptop for day-to-day work.”

“With one huge exception, most normal stuff you’d plug into a USB-C port works without fuss, and a bunch of other things work if you have an app that supports it. I tried a handful of USB-C hubs with an assortment of USB-A, HDMI, card readers, and Ethernet ports, and everything worked as intended. An extremely corporate Dell USB-C hub even let me plug an external display into the iPad over VGA, which was truly a vision of the future,” Patel writes. “External displays work just like the old Lightning-to-HDMI adapter: the system will simply mirror the iPad Pro by default, but apps that support an extended screen can do different things. Keynote will use the external display as the presentation monitor and show you the next slide on the iPad, for example… Keyboards worked. A USB microphone showed up in GarageBand… But one extremely important category of devices will definitely not work: iOS does not support external storage. You can plug as many flash drives or hard drives as you want into the iPad Pro’s USB-C port, and nothing will happen. Apple says third parties can write apps to talk to external storage, but out of the box, this $1,899 tablet simply won’t talk to a flash drive.”

“The one thing iOS can do with external storage devices is import photos: if you plug in a camera or a memory card from a camera, iOS 12 will automatically pop open the camera import screen and let you import photos into your camera roll. That’s it. That is the sole way iOS 12 can address external storage,” Patel writes. “Apple’s approach to iOS is holding that hardware back in serious and meaningful ways, and while USB-C makes life with this new iPad Pro slightly easier, it still has the same basic capabilities and limitations of last year’s iPad Pro.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We await these third-party apps that will allow iPad Pro talk to external storage via USB -C with bated breath.

Quite some time ago, we dreamed of something we wish Apple had brought to fruition by now: iOS Pro.

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?

Shouldn’t such a thing already exist? Where would iPad sales be if it did?MacDailyNews, December 29, 2015

And how would reviews like Patel’s today be different?


  1. As I commented elsewhere before, it gets a little embarrassing that such power is being under exploited. My stepson has already moved away from his iPhone due to limited non wireless file transfer for business purposes but the lack of that flexibility even on a Pro iPad at that price is just mind blowingly crass of Apple. As a pro you need flexibility and backup that doesnt put all your eggs in one basket especially at crucial moments. So much promise is let down by something that anyone with half a brain would realise should have been there 2 or 3 years ago minimum. It is such a basic and frustrating omission that takes the gloss off of an otherwise brilliant product. Always a love hate relationship with Apple and with Cook in particular its more hate and who unlike Steve he rarely gives you an upside to these limitations, just more frustration at what could have been had his short sightedness not been so pronounced. Always next year I guess.

  2. Yes, I was ready to purchase one.

    But lack of native saving to a flash drive? Come on! Need to download yet another app, this one for storage? Come on! A no-go for me. Bull caca.

  3. I’m not techy enough to understand it but I was wondering is the no external drive, only through iTunes due to Apple’s desire to keep iTunes and App Store relevant? App revenue is a big issue with Tim Cook. Does ability to import stuff directly means somehow it’s easier to load non App Store third party apps ?

    I have a suspicion that T.C likes iPads so much more than Macs is that they get most of the App revenues from iOS vs very little from Mac software. Services Revenue is the No.1 thing stock analysts are looking at now after iPhone sales.

    (I have an older iPad Pro 12.9 and will get the new smaller model later to add to it but my main ‘work’ machines are Macs)

    1. Tim Cook really can’t be blamed for how iOS Apps are fundamentally designed to be Sandboxed at the OS level to prevent cross contamination by ‘bad’ files. The result is Apple just painted itself into a corner by their design choices that are at the core of iOS and having to deal with it.

      1. I though Files app got rid of that? When I first heard about it it was said it would provide a common storage area where other apps can read/write data to share documents. Now I read here in several posts that it’s just a portal to cloud storage ? WTF, for real ?!
        Forgive my ignorance by I am “behind” on iOS versions.

  4. This is not a Verge original… or news in any shape or form .
    Its regurgitated from forum communities, and its few years late.
    I for one (and a few others) have addressed this issue for years..
    And I suggested the ‘IOS-Pro’ upgrade idea a good 4 years ago or so and even suggested they charge for it … those who wanted would pay and those who did not would not .. Simple! ( if anything it would be an additional revenue source for Apple…. )
    My IOS- Pro idea was mainly about the severely handicapped, convoluted file/ folder/ assette management on ios……not just about IO.. which truly hold it back the ipad as a full blown power house for productivity.

    Then Apple as a response to our complaints introduces the Files app, cloud based file management app, which is a joke! Try and work/interact with files that are gigabits large from the cloud … its stupid and a ludicrous .

    Apple again is handicaping their products intentionally to force their stupid cloud initiatives at our productivity and conveniance cost..
    Its not a technological issue… its a money issue!

    Its unacceptable and sleazy and short sighted……And we pay such premium for Apple products only to be played with in this manner. … shameful .

    Taking this mastepiece of an ipad they just put out and cut its hand off. Its a crime.

    No IO, No core ios comprehensive assert management availible with consistant core ui accessible from all Apps.. ( not this chaotic convoluted app-centric file managment, each in its own universe)

    I have praised the new ipad pro to the moon…..
    But no headphone jack for absolutly no practical reason?
    No IO fir external drives , no file/folder/assett mangment…to force us into the stupid cloud.
    Apple! large files, assett intensive projects dont work on cloud speeds ..aaaand they don’t work where there is no reception either .
    Do u get this ? ??

    I have been objecting about this for years and years now,,, to deaf ears of Apple.
    Maybe someday they will listen, once they have milked us costumers enough.

    (Meanwhile surface tablet offers all these productivity conveniences…. mind u windows,as touch base os is not as smooth or pleasant.. but its more pro oriented)

  5. It’s all a software issue for Apple. They’ve got the devices, but haven’t invested in evolution of their software (one could argue they haven’t invested in much since the breaking ground on their “space ship campus, but I digress…). There’s likely got to be some split point between iOS devices. As it stands now, you buy this iPad Pro and you’re still basically running iPhone software. ICloud is terrible and that’s what they expect you to use with these devices, hence no file management (or very little). If they want working pros and the education market to buy and covet these devices they need to do a much better job with their cloud solution. Right now, file management is literally in a cul de sac until they make inroads with either allowing external storage or (probably buy) a better cloud solution.

    1. If someone at Apple had a real vision, it would have grown its Time Capsule product line into personal cloud space that was rock solid secure. Then instead of playing middle man — attempting to lease iCloud to users that Apple in turn rents from Amazon — Apple could give users personal freedom to access their files securely from anywhere in the world while guaranteeing users that their files aren’t datamined or intercepted. Without monthly fees.

      But that’s just too much to ask for. Tim is doing everything possible to gouge you by the month while doing none of the work needed to manag iCloud servers or maintain internet networks or aid the user with local networks.

      One does begin to wonder what Apple does with all the money it collects. Haven’t seen commensurate products and services from Apple. Apple’s online services have always been amateur hour and with Cook as CEO, its software and hardware are also uninspired and overpriced.

  6. Had one disaster with iCloud and now keep its use to a minimum. This is just Apple forcing its customers onto its crappy cloud solution. Apple software is getting worse – just loaded the latest security upgrade and now iPhone won’t talk to my iMac and I am told that it is a hardware issue.

  7. I am please, very very pleased to read here so many people b!tchslapping Pipeline into the next county.

    Pipeline only cares about profits, not customers.

    Pipeline is all too happy to rip off customers to pad Apple’s profits.

    Pipeline is nothing but pure sleeze at how he runs Apple.

    Pipeline surrounds himself by blank eyed, mouth breathing sycophants like Eddie Cue and Phil Shiller.

    Pipeline let the Mac languish for FOUR years.

    Pipeline’s Apple is incapable of producing a new Mac Pro.

    Customers complain loudly to Pipeline TELLING HIM EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT.

    Pipeline ignores them and instead sells them dongles.

    Pipeline’s iPhones cannot connect to a Mac without a dongle.

    Un. Fscking. Real.

    Pipeline has been firmly b!tchslapped by the stock market the past several days.

    Nicely done Market, nicely done.

    1. Totally agree!

      Clueless pipeline time has long since passed and now the slow decline has begun. The sooner he is replaced with a tech visionary the sooner Apple will use its vast resources to achieve technological heights never seen before…

  8. The core of iOS is sandboxing Apps so that they have their own ‘internal’ filesystem, meaning each App manages its own files and even if multiple Apps can use a particular file format, each of them has to have their own copy of the file to manipulate. It was designed that way for security reasons and is unlikely to change anytime soon. The closest iOS w/o drastic modifications might come to having a filesystem like other OSes today would be to run an onboard cloud implementation emulating iCloud as the interface.

  9. The criticism would be a lot milder if it weren’t for the price of the new iPad Pro which reaches into Macbook Pro territory once you add storage, a keyboard and pencil. It can do certain things very well which the MBP can’t even do, but the 90% of normal things that people do are worse, clunkier, slower. If I could get the 12.9″ with a keyboard for around $1000 I might bite and try it as a secondary machine. At $1500 I’ll just look at a Macbook Pro and stick to my X for iOS.

  10. I understand the complaining, I really do. The work I do every day really makes an iPad impossible to use (such as layout and design). And I have a circa 2017 MacBook for travel, which allows me to run many of the same programs in a pinch unlike an iPad can really do. I think the concept of a “pro mode” is great and would love to see how that fleshes out. But, at the end of the day, I think people who would use an iPad as an exclusive device for 100 percent of their computing (and there are millions of such people out there) actually do not need more than what the iPad already does. Most of the rest of us are going to also be using a Mac (or other computer if they’re unlucky enough) and with things like iCloud Drive, Dropbox and Airdrop (and even Office 365) the absolutely frustrating days of using an iPad and not being able to move a file easily across platforms is really kind of mitigated. My dream device is an iPad that acts like an iPad but actually runs MacOS in all its glory, needing only a simple toggle or docking solution. I think we won’t see it for awhile because it would canibalize too much of the MacBook lineup — however, I do think it’s running in a lab somewhere and if/when Microsoft/Chrome/Etc. ever starts to really deliver something truly versatile and effective Apple ought to be ready to pounce. Or, they ought to lead. Show an app like Brainappse with full on AR tied to learning and watch your six year old and 16 year old eyes light up and you know that iOS has a very special and singular purpose. And MacOS and it’s cursor/desktop metaphor is not done yet, either. I don’t want to see them merged. I want to see them AVAILABLE on the same device, thoughtfully. I believe this is the future.

  11. I was looking forward to a larger iPad when everybody said Apple would never do it. I knew they could, I believed they would. They did and now I am terribly depressed at how expensive they are.
    Apple, all I wanted was a larger screen and more RAM, why’d you have to put a Pro moniker on it, gouge us on price and push it to Pro users, most of whom will laugh at it and say no thanks ?
    Thanks Apple, but no thanks!

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