Despite the fact that we just got brand new hardware from Apple just yesterday in the HomePod, let’s be honest. It isn’t for everyone. However, thanks to Apple’s wide ranging product lineup, there’s always something else coming just around the corner. In this case, it may be sooner than you think. According to a few different reports over the last week or so, we have a pretty good idea about as many as eight new Apple products that will be released over the course of this year.
We know that Apple is continuously prototyping and testing all kinds of different products, both new and variations on existing ones. While we will never see the vast majority of these experiments, it is interesting to think about what could be. You can pretty much assume that anything we have thought about that is within Apple’s product umbrella has been at least drawn up, if not built to some level of completion. I’m going to occasionally be asking you about some likely experiments that Apple has dabbled with, and ask you the question- “Would you buy this?”
2013 saw the introduction of TouchID, but as popular and highly reviewed as it was, it was the next year when the technology truly arrived and came into its own. It showed up on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, the iPad Air 2, and the iPad Mini 3 in the Fall of that year, and it was improved across the board. Not only did it make it across the entire mobile product line, but its speed and accuracy also improved noticeably.
Back in April, I came across a Kickstarter for a product from Jan Sapper called the PaperLike that was aiming to fill an unaddressed niche for the iPad Pro- the lack of a textured surface for writing and drawing on the iPad Pro’s screen. I ended up backing it, and when I received the product in July, I promptly installed it and wrote a brief review. Other than a little difficulty in putting it on (no more than any other flexible film screen protector), I came away happy with my brief experience to that point.
I guess this was inevitable. Right on heels of the release of the iPhone X, we now have rumors that Apple will roll out a new iPad with Face ID, no Home Button, and a bezel-less design. My first reaction upon seeing pictures of a mock-up of this potential device from noted leaker Benjamin Geskin (courtesy of iDrop News) was to drool a bit.
Back in June, I reviewed the Logitech Slim Combo Keyboard Case for the 10.5” iPad Pro. I came away giving it a recommendation, in spite of a few flaws. It had a high quality keyboard, which I have come to expect from Logitech. However, the plasticy feel of the exterior didn’t completely match up with the expectations at that price point. The 10.5” version also ended up quite a bit thicker than it had to be thanks to a large amount of dead space between the keyboard and iPad screen, making it a bit awkward to hold.
I noted in my review that there were some differences between the 10.5” and 12.9” versions of the Slim Combo. However, since I didn’t have a review unit in that size at the time, there was no way I could go beyond Logitech’s written descriptions of the differences. Well, a few days ago I saw a 12.9” version of the Slim Combo on the shelf at my local BestBuy, and I decided to take a look for myself. I decided to write a separate review because there are actually enough differences between the two versions of the Slim Combo that my first one doesn’t adequately cover the 12.9” version.
Our favorite Apple analyst (and probably the most accurate one, as well) is at it again. In his latest report, Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that the iPad Pro will be the next device to get Apple’s new TrueDepth camera and Face ID technology. This move would make perfect sense, bringing one of the latest and greatest features from one new Apple flagship device to another. TouchID similarly started with the iPhone 5S and then appeared later on the iPad Air 2, so Face ID coming to the Pro seems like the natural next step for Apple.
If you’ve been thinking about pulling the trigger on an iPad Pro, today is a great time to buy. For the second time this month, BestBuy is running a $100 off special on all WiFi models of the current generation Pro.
As the new “default” iPad Pro screen size, the 10.5” model is the one that most users are going to gravitate toward. I may be a hard-core fan of the 12.9” model, but I can understand why. It’s cheaper, smaller, lighter, and packs just as much punch as it’s larger sibling.
After the testing I’ve done with both of the new iPad Pros this week, I am unchanged in my personal opinion- the 12.9 is still the one for me. I absolutely love the big screen and it’s the main reason that I came back to the iPad after moving on for a while after the release of the iPhone 6 Plus. There is more room for multitasking and the Split Views are full iPad portrait views, rather than iPhone versions of the apps. It’s also a perfect match for my 13″ Lenovo Yoga when I’m out in the field and use Duet to make my iPad a secondary monitor. It still checks all of the boxes for me, and will hit even more when iOS 11 arrives.
Life has been mostly lemons around my house the last two days, but I’m going to make a little lemonade right here and FINALLY turn my attention to the new iPad Pros. I got the 10.5″ model yesterday, and I just got my hands on the new 12.9″, which arrived late this afternoon and is currently restoring with my apps and data. I’ll defer my remarks on the 12.9″ until I’ve actually had some time with it tomorrow, but I’ve had enough with the 10.5 to at least form some early opinions: