The 2018 iPad Pro

The 2018 iPad Pro

A few first impressions

There are a ton of iPad Pro reviews out there, so I’m not going to waste your time and mine by going through all that. But I do have a few quick first impressions on my first day.

I bought the 12.9” iPad Pro this time around. I had the original 12.9 and loved it, but it was always a little too big. It was awkward to hold and it didn’t feel very well balanced. When the 10.5” iPad Pro came out, I sold the big-boy iPad and bought the smaller one. I was never super in love with the 10.5” iPad. It was fast and light, but it was always a little too small. Using apps in split view gave me two “compact” size apps, not two full size apps. On top of that, the Smart Keyboard was smaller than normal. Moving back to the 12.9” solves the not-quite-big-enough problem.

Random thoughts and observations:

  • Split view is full-size agian with two side-by-side apps.
  • FaceID is a natural when the iPad is in the Keyboard Folio. It’s totally seamless and I can’t wait until FaceID hits Macs.
  • I think the split-keyboard option for the on-screen keyboard is gone again. Apple seems to add and remove this feature randomly. With a screen as big as this, splitting the keyboard and putting half on each side of the screen is useful.
  • The Keyboard Folio is pretty nice. I still miss having the media keys for volume, brightness, and playback controls, but it looks like Apple isn’t ever going to add them.
  • The Keyboard Folio keys feel a bit more springy than the old Smart Keyboard, but that just may be because that keyboard was heavily used for a year and a half.
  • The charging indicator that appears when the pencil is attached is clever and useful. It’s a little weird that the bubble always pops down from the center of the top, regardless of the iPad’s orientation. In “keyboard” mode, it makes sense, The indicator is right by the pencil. When in portrait mode, though, the indicator pops down from the top when you snap the pencil to the side. It’s feels disconnected.
  • It sounds great.
  • I’m guessing all my USB-C dongles work. I haven’t had time to test those yet. Sharing HDMI, SD Card, and other simple dongles with my Macbook will be nice.
  • The Pencil is really nice. It’s a matte finish this time, and a little smaller. It’s much more comfortable.
  • I don’t think the Pencil will stay stuck to the side of the iPad in my bag. We’ll see how that goes.
  • If you use an app that is not optimized for the new screen sizes, you’ll get some letterboxing, but that’s expected. Developers will update in time. Except Google, who tends to take their time with this stuff.
  • If you use an optimized and a non-optimized app in split view, the iPad will put both apps into non-optimized mode so they match. It’s a nice touch.
  • There’s no headphone jack and I don’t give a shit. I moved on years ago. If you use audio equipment that requires a headphone jack, welcome to DongleTown.