No one needs to convince me that Apple is in the lead when it comes to designing the Equipment iPad. The 2018 iPad Pro was so fast, over two years later, that it can handle just about anything you throw at it. The iPad Pro 2020 offered essentially the same speed, and that didn’t matter.
Now comes the 2021 iPad Pro, which is even more extreme in terms of performance. Including an M1 processor won’t improve performance as much as a Mac, since the iPad Pro has always used a power-efficient Apple processor.
But it’s still a two-generation processor upgrade, and it’s important. A new panel on the larger model allows Apple to set a new standard for brightness and dynamic range. Thunderbolt speeds up iPad connectivity with other devices.
And yet, in 2021, it seems to be the same story: Apple shines in the Equipment, and in the Software… well, the Software is late, to put it mildly. Apple made a spectacular sports car, but where are the roads where you can drive it?
A Pro panel, what for?
The new iPad Pro 12.9 “has a Liquid Retina XDR display and uses miniLED technology. The addition of this technology affects the physique (the iPad has gone from 5.9mm to 6.4mm). thickness, and from 641 g to 682 g, but also in its cost (from $ 1199, $ 100 more).
The result, however, is a brilliant display that offers incredible dynamic range, ideal for professional photographers and videographers. (This will probably also be perfect for watching movies.)
But more than five years after Apple launched the iPad Pro, it says a lot that Apple continues to demonstrate the level of its professional displays using external apps. As awesome and excited as I am with the Affinity Designer apps and the video editing power of LumaFusion, I’m puzzled that Apple continues to show off another iPad, with improvements to Equipment impressive, not to mention Final Cut Pro.
How are we supposed to understand this? That the team of Equipment Apple thinks the iPad is a vehicle in which you can include incredible next-gen features, but the teams responsible for Apple’s own business apps don’t think the iPad is worth it?
Thunderbolt support, what for?
With the announcement of Thunderbolt / USB 4 support on these new iPad Pro models, I’m stepping back in time. In 2018, when Apple released the first iPad Pro with a USB-C port on the bottom, it didn’t update the Software to read all the content of a USB key when you connected it. the Equipment was powerful, but the Software no.
And what about support for external monitors? The new iPad Pros are compatible with even larger external displays, including Apple’s Pro Display XDR. Third-party video applications can take advantage of this to display high-resolution videos and even some analytical screens. Okay, but if you want to display the iPad’s own interface, you’ll have a version of what’s seen on the iPad’s own screen with black bars on the side.
This is because even though Apple added support for external pointing devices and an on-screen slider for the iPad a year ago, the iPadOS doesn’t really allow apps to be moved to an external display anymore. tall. The device itself supports it (after all, macOS devices with the same Equipment can do it), but the Software do not. All that power, and unnecessary.
An M1, what for?
That’s the crux of the matter: Apple’s decision to include an M1 processor in the iPad Pro. I don’t question it as a strategy marketing. The press has responded very well to the M1, so it’s a wise decision to bring it to the iPad Pro (in fact, the M1 is an evolution of the Apple processors that have been included in the iPad Pro for years, so the reality is that the Mac adopted the processor from the iPad Pro, not the other way around.)
Now there is a problem with that marketing smart: it draws a direct parallel between the iPad and the Mac. And if the Mac definitely fails in some areas (no touchscreen or Apple Pencil support, for example), you can do it all on a Mac, even running certain apps intended for the iPad.
The iPad Pro, on the other hand, can’t do all of those “professional” things that a business user who’s willing to buy a device from $ 1,199 might want to do. They cannot run Mac applications (although if you connect a keyboard and a trackpadYes, you could!), And Apple has failed to create iPad-optimized versions of its own business apps.
What makes the iPad Pro so good is that while its fundamental part is a simple Tablet touch, your users can turn it into whatever they want. They can add just a keyboard, or just a mouse, or a combination of keyboard and trackpador an Apple Pencil. With each combination, the iPad changes. Unless you want to use an application for Mac, or Logic Pro, or Final Cut Pro or Xcode.
Should Apple add some sort of virtual machine for macOS compatible with an iPad Pro with M1 by connecting it to the Magic Keyboard or an external monitor? I don’t know, it’s a complicated question and it could be something strange. But now that I know the iPad Pro has an M1 inside, that seems like a normal question. And if the right answer is to create iPad apps that avoid having to have functions that exist on the Mac and not on the iPad, then let’s take a look at them.
We know what the M1 and Thunderbolt are capable of. Now that the new iPad Pro has been announced, the focus is on the next version of iPadOS, which will arrive in June at the Apple Developer Conference. Maybe the iPadOS 15 will finally deliver on the promise of Equipment iPad Pro. Being someone who uses the iPad Pro every day, I hope so.