Taking It Easy With The iPad Pro

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Considering the price of an iPad Pro, there can be an internal pressure to maximize the usage of the device. There’s a compulsion in me to try to do as much as I can on the iPad Pro: to edit more videos, manage photos, watch movies, and browse on the Pro. In order to do all of that, I need to bring the Pro everywhere. Well, I felt I needed to, anyway.

Everywhere was the de facto location of my last iPad, the iPad Air 2. That tablet had a 10–inch screen and weighed just a pound on its own. It was light enough that it was still a viable companion if I was bringing my laptop around for the day. In fact, the iPad Air 2 could really complement my 13–inch MacBook Pro as a great secondary screen for tasks or chats. The iPad Pro is different in this regard because it’s actually as wide as most laptops, which means that it will fill the width of a laptop bag, even though it isn’t very thick. The sheer size does make a discernible difference in how easy it is to carry the iPad Pro alongside my other daily carry items (canvas pouch with cables, camera).
However, a few weeks ago I decided to just relax more when it comes to my iPad usage, and I’ve been enjoying the device more ever since. Relaxing means that I don’t bring the iPad Pro with me everywhere that the Air 2 would have come, and that’s okay. Aside from having a stupendously large iPad, I also own a stupendously large iPhone 6S Plus. That’s more than enough for reading and browsing while I’m on transit, and it’s also great for editing photos on-the-go.

Speaking of photos, the other major part of learning to relax has been to let go of my lofty video and photo aspirations for the iPad Pro. I know that the hardware is powerful enough to handle raw imaging and 4K video, but the software just isn’t there yet. I’ve written about this before.

Letting go of that and finding out what I actually enjoy doing most on the iPad — instead of focusing on what I want the device to do — has felt freeing. I still do think that the iPad Pro could be used for quick field video edits and awesome for pro photographer RAW workflows, but that stuff will come with time (especially given Apple’s recent focus on releasing “Pro” iPads).

Switching to Lightroom from iCloud Photo Library has assuaged a lot of my angst about utilizing this tablet to the maximum. It really is a lot of fun to have my photos in Lightroom, and I love the more customizable storage options that Lightroom provides me across all of my devices (more on this in my proper Lightroom Mobile review). As for video: I’ve taken a step back and realized that if I really wanted to do more video, my MacBook Pro has been there all along, and I really haven’t done much video work lately. I still love it, but if I haven’t come out with a project in the last six months, then it’s obviously not something that I really need to be able to do on the iPad Pro.

I haven’t been able to do as much as I expected for photos and videos on this device, but I’ve also been able to accomplish a surprising variety of projects. The Pencil has been a gateway device to playing with vector design through Graphic. I’ve also been able to use the Pencil and FiftyThree’s Paper app to create some graphics for my day job, as well as write several articles a week in Ulysses. The versatility of the tablet form factor also really comes in handy when it comes time to unwind at the end of the day. Undocking the iPad Pro and resting it in portrait mode on my chest while I lie in bed is surprisingly awesome. I never found previous iPads very comfortable for in-bed browsing, but the sheer size of the iPad Pro makes it very easy to browse without having to carry it.

I’ll still be writing about the improvements that I think iOS needs to move forward, but after a few months of feeling a little frustrated with the iPad’s limitations, it’s been a great feeling to reconnect with this tool by just relaxing my expectations and letting the iPad just make itself useful to me.

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