The New iPad Pro
Getting setup with the iPad Pro
I am quite delighted with the iPad Pro, even though it doesn’t have the same portability that I had with the iPad Air 2. It is less portable than it will be after I’ve got a cover for it. It seems like a big slippery bar of soap to carry around without having a cover. I have carried it around the house a few times already, but it does sometimes feel a bit precarious. I know I would certainly hate to drop it and break it. On account of having my mother visiting when the iPad Pro arrived I haven’t spent as much time with it as I would have liked to. I just know that I would have been using it constantly around the house and maybe even taking it with me outdoors. Perhaps I would have gone to the local store to buy a cheap neoprene cover to put it into for a little bit of protection.
Setting of the iPad Pro as a new iPad
In some ways it would have been easier to set it up from a backup of my iPad Air 2 and I pressed the button to see about it a couple of times. I didn’t go ahead with it because it wanted to do a download of the operating system which I didn’t think was going to be necessary or even a good thing to do. It’s probably the case that the iPad Pro iOS operating system is a little bit different from the version for the iPad Air 2. So I don’t know what was being downloaded, was it the version for the iPad Air or was it the version for the iPad Pro. In any case, I didn’t go ahead with it and decided to set up as a new iPad. Obviously, this takes longer and requires going into iTunes and specifying which applications I want to get loaded up onto the new iPad. The other thing which would have saved time is the organisation of the icons on the device. It would be nice to have had all of the icons set up just the way I had them before. I did some organising of the icons on my iPad Pro and I had its connected by cable to the iMac. I was also trying to do some organising of icons using iTunes and after doing a sync I lost all of my organising time as it reverted back to how it was before. So there was a lot of cursing and I started again!
My mom holding up the iPad Pro to show just how large the beast is
First impressions of the iPad Pro
Blood hell, it’s a complete and utter beast of an iPad. It’s enormous, massive and decidedly huge. I’m sure I’ll get used to it in time, in fact a couple of days later it already seems quite normal. There are some apps that have been optimised for the iPad Pro to properly take advantage of the extra space available. At this early stage, a good number of applications are still just blown up larger versions of how they are on the smaller iPad. That doesn’t really bother me too much as having things bigger is helpful to my older eyes anyway. It’s one thing for applications to be optimised for iPad Pro in terms of how it fills the extra space available and then there is the other question of the Apple Pencil. It’s going to take some time before some of the applications are fully updated to use on this device. So my first impression is mostly based on the size of the beast. In terms of what you can do with it it is not hugely different from the smaller iPad. Certainly, it does make a difference having the extra space so you can better run more than one app at a time. There are some applications, such as Safari you can put to the left side of the screen and then pulling another one from the right-hand edge. After you’ve pulled in the second application from the right-hand edge as you can with the latest updated applications pull across further so you have the split in the middle and the two applications showing equally. This is really handy if you’re using one application for research and the other application for taking notes or writing. It’s going to be a big improvement when there is a better way of choosing the secondary apps. At the moment all we have is a long list and you might have to scroll quite a long distance to get to the app you want. This is all iOS 9, but it has the space to do it properly on the iPad Pro.
Using two applications side-by-side
At the moment I have Safari sitting on the left side of the iPad screen and I have Byword to the right. It is really easy to copy some text and then to paste it into Byword on the right-hand side. There is a good range of applications you can use in this way, writing apps such as Drafts, mind mapping apps such as iThoughts, social apps such as messenger for Facebook, Twitterific and Whatsapp, notetaking apps such as Notes, OneNote and Evernote and you have applications like Buffer, Omni focus and 1Password. So there are plenty of available applications to use side-by-side on your iPad Pro. Switching from one to the other is a seamless operation. Another possible use would be to have your photos on one side and the drawing application on the other if you wanted to have a quick reference for your creative work.
Waiting to be creative with an Apple Pencil
It is without a doubt absolutely terrible and hard to believe that Apple sent out the iPad Pro without having made enough units of the Apple Pencil. I am going to have to wait one or two weeks before I get my Apple Pencil and this is a very poor showing by Apple. They knew how many iPad Pros they had for sale you would have thought they could have matched that number with the Apple Pencil. The pencil/stylus is a huge differentiator and selling point for the iPad Pro and it is obvious that anybody buying the iPad Pro is going to want to get their hands on an Apple Pencil. Maybe many people bought multiple Apple Pencils for fear of losing one. Then again, perhaps Apple just got it wrong and cocked up. I could be one of the lucky ones in only having to wait one or two weeks, because there are some people who have a delivery date at least one month away. We can only hope that Apple will get their finger out now that they have some definite numbers and get those Apple pencils that we have ordered quicker than presently stated. I think it may also be the same case with the Apple iPad Pro keyboard. I’m not really interested in getting one of those for myself at the moment. The keyboard end of things might not have been so bad because Logitech have made a keyboard called Logitech Create and customers have been tempted by those when the Apple keyboard wasn’t available. I prefer to dictate as much as possible and the software keyboard is not bad if you make full use of the predictive text. Sometimes you often only need to do one tap to put in a complete word, which makes typing quite fast.
Changes to the software keyboard
On account of there being extra space available, there have been some changes to the keyboard. There is an extra row of numbers and from these numbers you can also get to some other symbols. If you tap and hold down on the number 7 you’ll get a pop-up which will allow you to insert the & instead. Another way of doing this is to do a tap flick on the key to quickly get that other symbol. On the main keyboard itself, on the top line of the letters you get access to square brackets and a backslash. The tap and hold and the flick tap doesn’t work with these, you have to use the shift key to get at the curly brackets and the pipe symbol. That probably makes sense, as you will be more likely to do a flick tap by mistake on the letter keys than you would on the number keys. You still have a full set of numbers and symbols accessed by the .?123 key in between the key for the smiley’s and the dictation key with the microphone symbol. Another extra on the new keyboard is a caps lock key and I’m not sure that is a good idea. I have the caps lock key turned off on my physical keyboard connected to my Mac. Is it going to be too easy to hit that key and end up with all capital letters by mistake, only time will tell.
Am I happy with the iPad Pro?
Absolutely, yes I will be even more happy when I get my hands on the Apple Pencil. The developer of iColorama has said she’s going to be updating it for the iPad Pro quite soon. Procreate is already pretty amazing on this new large iPad and ArtRage is looking pretty good too. I can’t wait to get into the swing of creating many more creative pieces with the iPad Pro. I have ordered an inexpensive smart cover from Amazon. This is where I usually get my covers from for my iPads. There were one or two that were advertised were not available until the end of the month, so I didn’t have a lot of choice. The one I shall be getting for €15 will do the job just as well as the expensive ones you can get from Apple. At least I won’t be so squeamish in carrying the iPad Pro around the house, scared I might drop it and break it. I love the iPad Pro and I’m going to do as much as possible with it and give the iMac a rest.