Outlook On The Ipad Future...


Staff member
I've had the chance to test an iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil. It's a fantastic experience to draw with it on the iPad Pro. However: The iPad Pro, for me, could never replace a "real Mac" with iOS 9. Too many tasks in my daily life include using multiple applications at the same time (or rather: in quick cadence after each other) and I like to keep an overview – which basically means multiple windows. With the iPad's "multitasking", i.e. the full screen divided between two apps, I get a strong feeling of being captured in too small a cell...

As a secondary device, the iPad Pro ist simply too large. It doesn't do the tablet thing well, because I can't simply and one-handedly drag it around – it constantly wants to be in a bag, where it can be safe.

The solution? Apple Pencil support on the iPad Air 3, which I gather will show up in the first half of 2016. The iPad Air 2 wasn't touched in this year's iPad hoopla, and the lineup feels a tad strange to me right now. The iPad Air form factor, in my opinion, is destined to get Apple Pencil support rather sooner than later (in my opinion, Autumn 2016 would be too late).

But once the iPad Air 3 is here with Pencil support (and probably about the same power as the iPad Pro): Will this suck the air out of the iPad Pro's sales numbers? I simply don't really see a large market for the big device. Sure: graphics artists. But even among them, some will prefer the smaller (or rather: normal-sized) tablet that is the iPad Air form factor.

I think Apple wanted to pre-empt a race to larger tablets in order to avoid a streak similar to when Apple kept the iPhone at 4 inches until the iPhone 6. But just like I hope that Apple at some point adds a 4-inch iPhone 6s to the table for those with smaller hands or who just don't want to always use both hands when using a mobile phone (I know, I can still use it for calling with one hand, too, but you see my point...), I hope that Apple doesn't keep the iPad Air line half a year behind the Pro. I understand that the larger siblings' battery life might be a bit better (iPhone 6s Plus vs. iPhone 6) or that their CPU frequency might be a bit higher (iPad Air vs. iPad mini). But I hope Pros get a _real_ choice in device size. If the biggest has a processor that is one year newer and has features the others _might_ get in the future, that's not real choice.

And, it has to be repeated: For me, the iPad Pro is NOT a notebook replacement, since it can't do all the things I use a MacBook (& Air & Pro) for – and it's MUCH too big for most of the things I use my iPad (mini or Air) for. I can't think I'm the only one.