Back in April, I wrote about a Kickstarter that I came across that I thought had real potential. Jan Sapper of Sapper Productions was proposing a screen protector for the iPad Pro that gives the screen more of a paper-like feel to make writing and drawing more comfortable with the Apple Pencil. I was immediately interested, and evidently I wasn’t the only one, because his Kickstarter campaign had already blown its initial funding goal away by the time I found it.
I finally broke down and loaded the iOS 11 first beta on my new 12.9″ iPad Pro this weekend. Unfortunately, with this being the first version of the beta, doing so has pretty much rendered this device useless other than for testing the new OS. Several apps are crashing, and there are plenty of rough edges, just as you would expect for a beta release at this juncture. However, one thing I have noticed is that Multitasking is actually pretty polished, even in this initial release. Multitasking has triggered a few crashes, but it is stable for the most part, and the scrolling, gestures, and motions are all fluid and work well.
Considering that there are few keyboard cases out there right now for the new 10.5″ iPad Pro, this new crowdfunded keyboard case that I came across today looks all the more interesting. The Touchtype Pro doesn’t come with its own built-in keyboard, but rather works with Apple’s Bluetooth-enabled Magic Keyboard. However, while there have been other, more simple products that paired an Apple Bluetooth keyboard with a stand and/or case for an iPad, this one has some features that set it apart.
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:
For riff-raff like myself, the process of reviewing the new iPad Pro models will begin tomorrow. However, today was the day for the lucky few in the tech media who got an early look at Apple’s latest goodies. I’m not jealous at all.
That aside, there are several insightful and thoughtful reviews that range from glowing to conservatively positive that hit the web today. The only complaints mentioned were price and practicality, and those are legitimate concerns considering the recent sales struggles of the iPad line. However, as for the hardware itself, the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Most are also very upbeat about the iPad’s future thanks to the changes coming in iOS 11.
Here are some of my favorite of the early reviews:
It’s a Good Day to be an iPad User!
The iPad has been at a crossroads for a couple of years now. Since the original iPad Pro didn’t move the sales needle, it has felt a little like Apple has been marking time while they came up with a Plan B on how to jumpstart things. Part one came with the release of the rolled back, but less expensive iPad this Spring. While it was a solid device that fit a need in Apple’s tablet lineup, it was hard to tell too much based on such a modest start down a different path.
The rumors of a new 10.5″ iPad Pro have been with us for over six months now, but as we get closer to a probable release at WWDC, the device is finally coming into clearer focus thanks to case leaks and the device mockups that are now leaking from reputable sources. Unfortunately, according to well-known leaker Shai Mizrachi concept artist Benjamin Geskin, the device matches early reports to a degree, but doesn’t go as far as the long-rumored bezel-less design we all think the iPhone 8 will have.
FINALLY!! There is actually some iPad news worth posting about. After only getting one new iPad in the early Spring after rumors of as many as five new devices in the pipeline, it looks like the release of at least one new iPad Pro is imminent. The new iPad Pro 10.5″ model, which was rumored to have gone into production a few weeks ago, now seems to be slated for announcement in three weeks at WWDC.
Well, my prediction early last month that the iPad Air line would be retired was half right. The name is now gone, but I thought at the time that Apple would shift to an all Pro iPad lineup this Spring. However, thanks in part to the comments of several users of non-Pro iPads, I came to see how short-sighted that opinion was, and how many potential users it would leave behind.
Thankfully, Apple is a lot smarter than I am. As such, a lower-cost tablet still endures, just with a different name and a little different shape. However, this wasn’t all that went down yesterday. Apple made a few interesting, if low key moves, and changing up the Air 2 was just one of them. Here are a few of the highlights and interesting details from yesterday’s news.
The rumor mill is churning hard and fast now as we get closer to an inevitable Apple Event. However, with most of the stories just repeating variations on the same models and basic features, this is a good time to step back and see what other new features that users may be looking for in the new crop of iPads. Whether hardware, software, or both, there is no better time than a hardware refresh to consider what we hope Apple is cooking up in Cupertino.