The iPad Pro. It’s here, and it’s marvelous.
First off, there’s no denying: this device is huge. The cheap but good Moko case I bought on Amazon is equipped with a hand-strap, to make it easier to hold the Pro one-handed. It’s that big.
However, I found myself almost immediately used to the iPad Pro’s bigness. And that bigness makes a strangely significant difference. In fact, it quickly feels natural, as though the tablet form was always meant to be this size. Something just feels easier about working on a larger screen. A larger screen, but still simple, with only one program demanding my attention.
I’m using the beta of the Ulysses writing app on my iPad, which provides a wonderful creative experience. I have the iPad propped up on a Roost stand, and I type on a bluetooth keyboard: the whole screen is my writing environment. There is no dock to worry about, and when I want to check wikipedia, I can either Cmd-Tab on the keyboard to switch to a browser, or split the screen in two by dragging Safari into the pane. When I’m done with whatever I was looking up, I don’t have to worry about closing or shrinking the browser: I push Safari back to the edge of the screen and, just like that, it’s gone. There’s no way to build up a mass of lurking windows or tabs, because the interface cleans itself every time, leaving either two, one, or no apps on screen.
It’s not a perfect set up. There are some odd, annoying bugs in the software, which I’m hoping Apple will fix in time. The on-screen software keyboard is not as good as I had assumed it would be. There is still, as far as I know, no iOS alternative to Adobe’s InDesign, which is desktop-only. I’m not completely set on a blogging app / workflow yet: I’m writing this post in Ulysses and uploading photographs via a slightly very sketchy workflow I created in the Workflow app.
But when a great iOS-based rival to InDesign appears, when Dropbox gets its act together, and when I am able to properly write HTML, and thus solidify my blogging routine through Workflow, I do wonder how often I will fire up the iMac. The big desktop computer, which six months ago seemed an essential work tool, no longer seems so central to my day.
The iPad Pro seems capable of most of the things, in other words.
PS I haven’t even received my Pencil yet. That’s still backordered for a few more weeks.
PPS Comics / graphic novels look absolutely amazing on the big screen.