Aside from superior picture quality and color reproduction, at this stage the new iPad Pro hasn’t meaningfully improved anything in my daily workflow. It feels like there’s a missing second half to this product’s story. I’m optimistic though: I suspect Apple is well aware of this too, and I’d be extremely surprised if iPadOS goes without any major, foundational updates for another year. The new iPad Pro feels ready to power the next few generations of iPadOS; compared to such advanced hardware, however, the current version of iPadOS seems like it was made for three iPads ago.
At times, the 2021 iPad Pro feels like driving a Ferrari in your neighborhood’s cul-de-sac. We need new roads. We need iPadOS 15 to be the leap forward for the iPad platform we’ve been waiting for. That this new iPad Pro is especially waiting for.
The magic kicks in when you are viewing videos or photos in full-screen. When you do that, the iPad Pro kicks into a different HDR mode (or in Apple’s parlance, XDR, for “Extreme Dynamic Range”) that really is stunning. The overall max brightness of the screen jumps up to a powerful 1,000 nits and peak brightness for certain lighting can hit 1,600 nits.
You don’t see it until you see it — but then you see it.
The 2021 iPad Pro is a much bigger update than the 2020 version, thanks to the adoption of the same M1 processor that powers four Mac models, and the addition of Thunderbolt 3 and 5G networking. In fact, the 12.9-inch model is truly groundbreaking, thanks to its spectacular display. And yet the same question from 2018 hovers over the product in 2021: What’s all this power for? Even as an advocate for professional uses of iPadOS, it still feels like the iPad Pro is a hall-of-fame device that just can’t fulfill its remarkable potential.
The performance improvements in the M1 are the biggest story, and they're substantial. But at the same time, I think it's unlikely that someone who already had either of the past two iterations of the iPad Pro is complaining about their current device's performance.
Phil Schiller is one of the biggest names at Apple, and at the Epic v. Apple trial, his job was to make Apple feel small. Over two days of testimony including several hours of cross-examination, he didn’t always succeed — but he left the stand without facing some of Epic’s harshest lines of attack.
Apple is asking the judge to move forward with a judgment due to Epic's lack of "factual, expert, or legal support for its theory of essential facility" and that it has practically given up on attempting to prove it. Apple also cites testimony from one of Epic's own witnesses, who said during the trial regarding the App Store that nothing they say is referencing anything that can be deemed an "essential facility."
I know a lot of people are concerned that the white bezel surrounding the display will be distracting. In practice, I found that it just disappears. If there can be such a thing as a muted white — a white that most certainly looks white, not light gray, but yet not white white, this white is that white. I didn’t need time to get used to it — I just never really noticed it while using the iMac. Same thing with the pastel-orange chin. The entire front face of this iMac looks of a piece with the white-accented keyboard, mouse, and trackpad.
The brand new iPad version of the app from the team at Lux makes taking iPad photos more natural and, of course, offers all the advanced features available in the iPhone version of the app.
Both products do exactly what they claim, so it’ll just come down to if you want the more rugged (Chipolo) or the more stylish (AirTags) option. Most Apple fans will end up with both.
Zagg has announced an updated lineup of keyboards for iPad today with the new Pro Keys with Trackpad, Pro Keys (without trackpad) as well as the refreshed Rugged Book.
I spoke with Dave Bruno, director of retail industry insights at retail technology company Aptos, to find out what Apple did right.
“Apple’s iPods completely reimagined the way we discover, purchase, store and consume music,” he said. “iPhones completely reimagined the mobile phone experience. iPads defined tablet computing. And Apple Stores completely reimagined the role of the store in the shopping journey.”
By taking this stance now, Anson believes, Apple is pre-empting strict data protection laws that have been mooted in US states including New York and Virginia as well as in the European Union. As with the EU’s Draft Digital Services Act, the US proposals, which are modelled on an existing Californian law, would require user permission to be given for data to be used. It is a carbon copy of what iOS 14.5 has already introduced.
The world is still in very bad shape, and I don't have any energy in me to stir up any optimisim at all.
(Sorry to bring everyone down.)
Stay safe. And let's all help others to stay safe too.
I do wish I can watch my Apple TV on the new iPad Pro. My wallet strongly disagrees.
Thanks for reading.