Quick iPad Pro Thoughts

After iPad Pro was announced in September, I wrote a quick post with my thoughts. At that point I was hesitant to purchase one, and wanted to see what app developers would do and what the hardware would be like in person before I bit the bullet.

But as more and more developers have updated their apps to work with split screen multitasking on my iPad Air 2, I have fallen in love with working on the iPad. Under that mindset, I knew I had to order one.

So early yesterday morning I reserved a 128 GB Wifi model in Space Grey at my local Apple Store and picked it up after school. I set it up, and then immediately began using it for work. My master's research -presentation is tonight, and I had some things to finish.

These are just my quick thoughts from working on the device for a few hours last night and at school today. Of course, this post was written on the iPad Pro using Byword.

  • I love this device. When the screen powered on, I literally lost my breath for a second. We already know how well Apple can make a Retina display, but at this scale, it's simply stunning.
  • I have owned an iPad 3, Air 1, Mini 2, and Air 2. This is the best. Not just in specs, but in overall experience. Also, this is my first black iPad. I really like it. It's nice to have a change.
  • I didn't get a pencil or external keyboard, but I tried them out at the store. I will definitely be getting a pencil at some point, but it's not urgent. It was the best stylus I've ever used on an iPad, but I don't have very many uses for one. The Smart Keyboard on the other hand was not great. I type well on the software keyboard, and the Smart Keyboard didn't add anything to the experience but weight. I don't mind the new MacBook keyboard, but this didn't do it for me. The Logitech CREATE was a much better typing experience, but not so much better that I wanted the bulk.
  • The software keyboard will take some getting used to though. I have the Air 2 keyboard in muscle memory. The new layout is amazing, but it will take some getting used to. I keep typing Ms instead of spaces, and forget that I don't have to hit a button to get numbers and symbols.
  • Apps that aren't optimized for iPad Pro are the worst. Almost everything I use already is, but the few that aren't...no thanks. I'm finding a few work-arounds to my standard iPad workflows until apps are updated.
  • I have had to get my Mac out. The RefME app was missing one critical feature of the web version (which doesn't work on iPad apparently). Keynote also is still missing some more in depth features from the Mac version that I needed m That was frustrating, but part of the tension I'm going to have to live in as an early adopter.
  • Having an iPad this big definitely means the device is less mobile. Not immobile, but less. I am not as likely to use this while walking around my classroom writing observations about students. Unfortunately, my iPhone 6 feels too small for some of this. I think a watch, 6s Plus, and iPad Pro setup will serve me quite well at some point. Time to start saving again.

All in all, this is a great device. I hope the wonder of unlocking it and seeing this screen never wears off. I really do believe I'm excited to see what the future holds for it. I do think the iPad is the future of computing, and I'm excited to see what that future brings.