Today, Apple lifted the embargo on iPad Pro reviewers. The resultats are in. There is some great new for Apple but there is something that is pervasive among reviwers.
On the hardware side, Apple made the best iPad device ever, maybe the best iOS device ever. All reviewers that I checked seems to agree on the high quality of the device (physical dimension, handling, the new squarish look which is deemed more pro looking, the screen quality, the sound quality, etc.). The pencil seems to receive praises as a version 2.0 product. The speed of the new iPad is unprecedented even rivaling recent desktop or portable computers (from Apple).
But the problem is not the hardware, the problem is the operating system. iOS in its current form doesn’t go far enough to make this iPad a truely portable computer replacement. So it is not only a matter of being a fast device. At least for a few reviewers. Some think Apple should stop treating its users like babies and give them what they want. Others think that it doesn’t require a lot of investments from Apple to add support for things like USB-C drives so users can import and export documents on the go. This think, by the way, is one of the first requested feature people had in mind when they first saw the iPad in… 2010.
So, what should I expect when I receive my own iPad ? Well, I know about thse limitations and I write about them in a post. Here is the list of things I do most on my iPad:
- Read and compose emails;
- Surf the web;
- Take and manage meeting notes;
- Manage my schedule;
- Do photo processing;
- Write and manage blog posts;
So, for these tasks, the iPad come close to being a full laptop replacement. I don’t think I need iOS 13 to solve the remaining issues. Being able to plug in a USB drive and import photos from it into the iPad could well arrive in iOS 12.2 or iOS 12.3. Last year, Apple made a bunch of new features in iOS 11.3. Why not this year with iPad focused improvements ? Time will tell. Apple is an exercise in patience.
[Updated since originally posted: listen to About Those iPad Pro Reviews (podcast #137) Reviewers aren’t gods. They are opinionated people.]