The Best Toy Ever, The iPad Pro

11 November 2015

The Telegraph:

“Yes, the iPad Pro is a replacement for a notebook or a desktop for many, many people. They will start using it and conclude they no longer need to use anything else, other than their phones,” Cook argues in his distinctly Southern accent (he was born in Alabama). He highlights two other markets for his 12.9 inch devices, which go on sale online on Wednesday. The first are creatives: “if you sketch then it’s unbelievable..you don’t want to use a pad anymore,” Cook says.

I think the iPad Pro is a fantastic product concept. A beautifully-large Retina touchscreen with a precise stylus input for drawing and annotations. This is like the coolest Apple product of the year. The lust factor to just get one of these, scribble around in Paper, make some doodles, play some games, is immense. I can’t justify the iPad Pro as a purchase because, for me, it’s a toy.

The iPad Pro has definite utility for many groups of people but not me personally. I can’t realistically get my work done on it, development is out of the question and writing news coverage on iOS is tough.

Covering news requires too much context switching with the need to repeatedly flick between Twitter, Safari tabs, CMS editor, HipChat and more. Doing that on iOS is very annoying, slow, sometimes impossible. Something as simple as copying a paragraph to use it in an article as a quote is extraordinarily difficult to do on an iPad. Compare that to a Mac, where a copy-paste keyboard shortcut can be executed in a fraction of a second.

Moreover, I’m not a good artist. I can’t really draw that well, so the advanced features of the iPad Pro + Apple Pencil as a drawing tablet are lost on me. Doodling with the Pencil is as far as I’d go really, for the novelty and gimmicky entertainment value. Combined, this makes the iPad Pro an expensive toy, for me and my situation. I really want one though.1 If Christmas wish lists stretched to the $800 mark, an iPad Pro would be at the top of mine.

1 By the way, the iPad Pro TV ad is so good. You don’t see the iPad Pro at all until 10 seconds from the end, but it’s an enthralling video with a great soundtrack. Apple’s recent commercials have been stellar.