When the iPad Pro was first announced, I didn’t have much interest in it. I’ve always had trouble finding a place for the iPad in my day to day workflow, and I failed to see how a bigger iPad would solve that problem. I even wrote about how I was holding off to see how the app landscape changed.
Well, me being me, I couldn’t resist any longer and I picked up an iPad Pro just before Thanksgiving. A little over two months later and I find myself wishing I would have held off.
Portable? Not really.
With a keyboard attached the iPad Pro is heavier than my 13” Retina MacBook Pro. Not exactly what I envisioned in terms of portability.
One of the main reasons I really wanted an iPad Pro was because I travel fairly regularly. I’ve always hated having to drag a Mac and an adapter along with me. With an iPad Pro, I’d only have to worry about Lightning cables.
However, I’ve never been very fond of the software keyboard on the iPad. For notes and smaller tasks it’s fine, but hammering out 2,000+ words in one sitting is a nightmare.
Since I wanted portable, the first keyboard case I tried was Apple’s own Smart Keyboard. I used it for all of 5 minutes before I was banging my head into the table. For the past several years I’ve used keyboard cases with my iPads — all of which had a row of shortcut keys specifically designed for iOS.
The Smart Keyboard does not have this row, which left me continuously reaching for keys that were not there. Reaching for the screen every few minutes is awkward. The Smart Keyboard just compounds the issue. Not to mention, typing on fabric is just plain weird to me.
Next I moved on to the Logitech CREATE. It lasted less than a month. It’s incredibly heavy and the constant key skips drove me insane. I hear that’s been fixed now, but even so, the weight and clunky design made it a no-go for me
After the CREATE, I moved on to the ZAGG Slim Book. First off, the keyboard itself is phenomenal, just like all of ZAGG’s other keyboard offerings. Unfortunately, it’s even heavier than the CREATE. Instant fail.
Keyboard weight aside, there’s also the awkward issue of the Apple Pencil. Not a single keyboard case made for iPad Pro takes into consideration where you put the pencil when you aren’t using it. This is a problem a lot of accessory manufacturers are ignoring, including Apple. Why?!
It’s time to rethink iOS.
One of the first things I noticed when I began using the iPad Pro is how much space is wasted throughout the UI. From the Home screen to apps, iOS does not scale well on a large screen.
I also don’t like constantly reaching up to tap on things, which I still have to do even when using an attached keyboard. When using apps like Photoshop, I use keyboard shortcuts to bring up menus, make selections, etc. In order to use my iPad Pro on a full-time basis, I need these kinds of implementations to be seamless from desktop to mobile. They aren’t.
When I originally decided I would hold off on the iPad Pro, my main concern was apps. While that’s still a valid concern I have, I’ve also come to realize that a lack of pro apps aren’t the only problem.
iOS was made for the iPhone. It was scaled to work for the iPad. Almost a decade later, the core of iOS remains fundamentally unchanged, which presents a very real problem for the future of the iPad Pro.
iPad Pro vs Mac: Will there ever be a “best of both worlds”?
I love iOS and OS X, but for very different reasons. It didn’t take long for me to figure out I purchased the iPad Pro for all the wrong reasons.
For years the iPad has been the device I take with me on trips where I may only need to pop online and handle lighter tasks, or for laying in bed and enjoying news feeds, browsing Twitter, and watching videos. I also enjoy doing light photo editing and playing games. Anytime I need anything more than that, I have always depended on my Mac, and this system has never failed me.
For the past two months I’ve been trying desperately to force the iPad into my everyday workflow. And I have failed, miserably — because I was trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.
Using Photoshop or attempting to perform tasks that only take me a few seconds on my Mac, quickly become frustrating on the iPad Pro. That’s because I’m trying to re-create the wheel and find solutions to problems I don’t have on OS X — which is a waste of time and counter-productive.
Would I enjoy converging all my tasks onto a single operating system? Sure — but not if it comes at the expense of more work on my part. For years the iPad has been the single Apple device I could live without.
As bad as I wanted it to, the iPad Pro doesn’t change that for me.