Got an iPad Pro (9.7) after a couple of years away from iOS

Discussion in 'iPad' started by kodos, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. kodos, Aug 6, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2016

    kodos macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2010
    I got a Phantom 4 recently, and the iOS app is a little more advanced than the Android iteration (I have a Galaxy S7). Since I wanted a tablet display anyhow, I got myself an iPad Pro with LTE - so that way I have a GPS on the tablet for the DJI Go app. I also got the Smart Keyboard.

    It has been a while since I started divesting myself of Apple devices (just transitioned my wife from her trusty iPhone 5S to the Galaxy S7 as well) - so it was interesting coming back to the ecosystem.

    The good:
    1. Apple still makes some really great hardware. The iPad itself feels really nice to the touch. Solid, and is nice and light. I really like to hold the iPad.
    2. The screen - it seems overly yellow in tint when compared to my desktop monitors (which are calibrated as I do photo / video work on occasion). Really yellow. Not sure if this is a TrueTone thing, but I am a bit concerned. That said, even though it is not AMOLED, the display has a nice contrast to it, and the colors still pop without being overly contrasty to the point of being harsh (that's something Samsung likes to do - it is great for a five minute demo, not so good for long term usage).
    3. Apps - the ecosystem is the best for any tablet (assuming that we do not count legacy apps on a Surface style device). Dedicated tablet apps are still probably best on iOS. I hear Android is a wasteland, and there still aren't too many universal Windows apps that take advantage of the tablet form factor.
    4. The device is pretty snappy. Safari is nice and quick on it.
    5. The display is usable outside! This is great. Love it. Very important since I got it for the drone.
    6. The smart cover does not use Bluetooth. No fiddling around with connections, charging, etc. Thank you, Apple!
    7. Love to read on this - for all of its virtues, the Surface Pro is not that great to read on because of its size. This is about right for me.
    8. Like the antenna band (LTE) on the back instead of the ugly plastic thing that older iPads had.
    9. Speakers are a big step up from previous iPads. I won't use them much, but those rare times I do - it is nice to not have to strain to hear, especially in a noisier environment (I have four kids, so yeah)
    10. Have the option to buy the Apple Pencil to go with it. Not sure I will, but it is great to know I can.
    11. True Tone - I actually kind of like the way it has shifted with the changing environment. I know it is a love it / hate it kind of thing, but if my display wasn't overly yellow I could see myself really enjoying the adaptive display.
    12. Is nice not to use the on-screen keyboard when you have the keyboard cover.

    The bad:
    1. This thing was expensive. I spent almost $1,000 (with tax) to get the unit and the keyboard. I try to not let that sink in. That's a lot for a glorified smartphone device.
    2. The keyboard cover. Who designed this awful thing? Did they not look at the competition? One angle - awkward to fold/unfold, and frankly just a mess. I eventually can type on it fairly rapidly. But no backlighting and poor design makes me wonder why Apple thinks it can charge $150 for this. My Surface Pro's keyboard is cheaper, better, and has a trackpad.
    3. Keyboard cover adds a lot of weight to the device. It is noticeably less comfortable to hold and read with it snapped on. I snap it off when I want to read.
    4. iOS doesn't support pointing devices. It is hard to do serious work (for me) and have to tap on the screen. Fortunately, I don't need this much.
    5. iOS on a tablet still feels like a toy. The bright colors, the slow animations when going into and out of a folder (iPad zooms in, iPad zooms out), and the general tenor of everything is just weird coming from Android and Windows which seem more purpose driven.
    6. Seeing all of the icons barfed on the home screen is jarring coming from OS's that can hide garbage apps that YOU CANNOT DELETE, OR DO NOT WANT.
    7. TouchID seems slower than it was on my iPhone 5S, and definitely slower than it is on my Galaxy. Not sure if I got a bad unit, or if the sensor on the Pro is worse than that on the phones. It takes it a little bit of time to register.
    8. Snapping apps is awkward and slow. Especially if you want to switch which app goes on the left and the right. That said, it seems to work.
    9. Occasional hangs (iOS 9.3.4). Not sure why, but Mail has hung on me twice so far.
    10. Lightning cables are expensive and not ubiquitous. As long as there is a need for lightning cables, Apple will remain profitable.
    11. Takes forever to charge. Coming from devices that have QuickCharge - I was shocked to see the device only go up a few percentage points after being plugged in for a few minutes. I am used to much more rapid charging.
    12. 2GB of RAM. I notice that some of my apps can take a while to refresh after being out of focus for a short time. With split-screen not sure how long 2GB will take, but iOS is better at RAM than Android.
    13. Miss having a back button. Every app seems to have a different way of getting out of the current state, or going back to a prior menu/screen.

    Overall, I would give this iPad Pro a 7/10. Most of this is due to its price and what you get for it. In a way, I think it is reflective of post-Steve-Jobs Apple. Coasting on the good designs that came before, not being so successful with new features (Keyboard Cover), and keeping profit margins extremely high with little new innovation to show. iOS while it has added a few new things, is more or less the same, but seems a bit buggier than I remember. It certainly could never replace my laptop, but I love that all of my Office apps are on it - so I can take a quick note whenever I want and it all syncs on the cloud. The keyboard makes it all less painful. So I might actually use my laptop less, though it doesn't replace it.

    If I didn't need it, I wouldn't buy it again. But now that I have it, I certainly like using it.
  2. lchlch macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2015
    The warmer displayed can be explained by true tone or night shift. You can disable it if you don't like it by going to the settings and looking for either of those options.

    The keyboard actually support another angle, refer to the pamphlet that came with the cover. There also a unofficial angle, that is to lie the iPad down while in display mode.

    In iOS 10 you'll be able to delete the default app you don't want and the folder animations had been speed up.
  3. kodos thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2010
    Thanks! I just turned off TrueTone, and it still seems a bit warm for my tastes. Since I don't do anything color sensitive on it, it isn't a bit deal, but it is definitely warmer than my iPad Air was. I'm sure I'll get used to it. As for the second position, I only see another position for watching movies, not typing?
  4. lchlch, Aug 6, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2016

    lchlch macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2015
    From the movie watching position, you can tip the iPad back and lie it down. This creates a slightly elevated position, which I think is a lot less tiring if your touching the screen a lot.

    As for the display, according to displaymate the iPad Air 2 has a slightly cooler whitepoint maybe that's why you think the iPad pro's screen is warm.

    One more interesting fact according to displaymate the screen on the iPad Pro is the best you can find in terms of Absolute Color Accuracy.
  5. kodos thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2010
    I'll play around with the positions when I get back on it today. Thanks! I am wondering if I just have a bad display - I noticed that there's a thread with a bunch of people complaining about their particular unit being too yellow. So, maybe I got a defective unit - it didn't appear this yellow in the store, which is what makes me think I got an abnormal unit. I'm going to take it back and compare it to check.
  6. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    There is a setting under Accessibility where you can turn this off. It's called Reduce Motion.
  7. kodos thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2010
    Thanks for the tip! Much better - especially on the larger screen, it was slightly nauseous. Looking forward to iOS 10 where they speed up the animations, because even with this off - the fade in time is slightly slower than I'd like it to be. But a big improvement nonetheless. Thanks!
  8. bufffilm Suspended


    May 3, 2011
    Most of your negatives are also on my list.

    Apple needs to concentrate on the software side of things. Streamline how you can pick apps in split windows, add top/bottom windows in portrait mode, and stuff like that.

    Hardware wise apple does need to do something about the slow charging.
  9. kodos thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2010
    I picked up an Apple Pencil at BestBuy today. For comparison, I am used to the Surface Pen. I really like the tracking (lag is low) and tilt capability. I also like the tactile feel it has on the screen. Not sure if that is because it is different from what I am used to - or if I really do prefer it to the Surface's feel.

    I kind of like the Surface because it is much quieter though. If I am in a room with other people, they might get annoyed with the tap-tap noise. Especially if I am tempted to take notes at Church with the Pencil!

    On the other hand, what a fiasco when it comes to charging. I have a dongle that I will probably lose to charge via Lightning (and I only have one cable at the moment, thanks to the high price of these and I only have an iPad). If I plug it into the side of my iPad, it looks hilarious. Weird design choice.

    Like holding it in my hands more than the cold Surface Pen - the plastic material is much nicer than the aluminum that Microsoft chose, and reminds me of some of my fond iMacs and MacBooks from days past.

    Also I have no convenient way to carry it with my iPad if I am not taking it in a case. I have nowhere to put it, and there's no way to even clip it to my shirt pocket. Awkward.

    Anyway, thought I'd add that to my remarks regarding the iPad Pro.
  10. akdj macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    So you've answered your 'pointer' negative, and I feel the same way about the Smart Keyboard. The fact you have it listed both as a 'good' & 'bad' (no Bluetooth fiddling or charging, one angle/'who designed this thing?') shows just what a love/hate relationship with the keyboard users can have. I got the 9.7" & the 12.9" with the intention of picking one, sending the other back, I kept both. Sold my wife and I's Air2s instead.
    The pencil rocks, the keyboard is awesome with my large Pro, take it or leave it with the 9.7" model. Pencil is mandatory and blows even the Wacom/Clintiq/SPros outta the water. Along with Astro Pad2, you can use your MacBook Pro and your iPad Pro just like a Wacom and completely lag free, nearly zero latency with Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. Astro Pad will completely change your mind if you are looking for the ability to 'create' with your new iPad Pro. Worth every penny
    RE: Charging iPad Pro. Which model? I'm assuming I missed it but you said you set True Tone implying you have the 9.7" model. Regardless, I was bummed to find the 10 watt charger 'bottled' with my small Pro, the 12 watt did come with my 12.9", but should be included with the smaller model
    You can pick up the 12 watt chargers anywhere Apple sells gear and it'll make a significant difference in your charge time.
    I bought the 29 watt charger for the MacBook 12" with the 2 meter lightning to USB 3 connection. A significant upgrade from either for charging the large iPad Pro, cutting the time in ½. From 5.5-6 hours to 2 ¾ - 3 hours zero-100%.
    The ability to control the animations and the parallax views, opacity or transparency, etc all exist in settings. The display on both iPad models are nothing short of exceptional and we've replaced several MacBook Pros we use on the road with the 12.9", 4GB RAM, USB 3 capability ...definitely a more robust, efficient and always 'on/connected & ready to rock' design compared with the MacBook Pros that still mandated 110v, a 'hotspot' for downloading and cost twice as much-@ $1250 (with accessories) vs $2,500 15" (so I can see:)) and much less fragile with cases built to take the often spilled adult beverage;)
    As always, ymmv but we've finally crossed a threshold I'm able to actually replace the computer with an iPad because of the hardware, iOS & the App Store's maturity. And especially the phenomenal growth and completexity of the development field and the developer community. A. Huge. Thanks!
    I'm excited about the new iPad models and I'm eager to see the continued progress with development and progress with the hardware and iOS's refinements

    (cleaning up the UI is as easy as holding the icons till they jiggle, drag a similar one on top of another and wallah, you have a folder. Name it 'trash' and drag right to its own home screen - hidden from view forever. Arrange apps into folders, label, use different home screens for different apps and go to settings and choose change background. Pick a couple cool pics you have and set up your home and lock screens without the barfed icons and with it the way you prefer it. iOS 10 does quite a bit to help as well with more customizable options and arrangements. You can use it, the public beta by enrolling through Apple's site)

    And PS, I will mention it again, the display on both iPad Pro models is exemplary. You definitely have a bad example if it's truly yellow and you don't accidentally have nightshift set to override your schedule. Go to display brightness, I believe, in settings, and make sure your switched off of Night Shift, as it's meant for a warmer, in fact adjustable to warm up the display as much as you prefer for evening and night/dark reading situations. Definitely helps me

    Good luck and keep playing around. You can make your 'bad' list much shorter by asking for assistance finding the right apps to replace the legacy x86 software u are accustomed to. I still need my MacBook Pro, but I'm not sure how much longer that will be the case - regardless how much us geeks beeyatch 'bout it. The paradigm shift has already begun. I'm 44, first computer, a IIe - 286-386-486--->Pentium & PowerPC, AMD, 25 years of Windows, 30 with OSX & Apple, early Macintosh models raising an 11 year old son and watching the way he enjoys interacting with the internet, computers is interesting. Most of his interaction is through his iPod iPad and Xbox One. He has an iMac (2011, core i5, 1TB HDD) in his room for occasional movies and his Roblox enjoyment but he maybe uses the iMac 10-15% of the time, tops. I'm sure it would be less if I bought him an Air 2, iPad Pro 9.7" and especially if he had the iPad 12.9 2-3 years time, 10-11 year olds may just be using the first generation iPad Pro as their primary device. As parents pass down models and less PCs/Macs are sold ...less will be passed down

    Mobile has all the sudden become a powerful ally and incredibly powerful tool. If you aren't there yet, you aren't far away from unplugging and moving your workflow entirely or close to a tablet and phone. If you haven't already and refuse to admit your guilt;)
    J. Guilty as charged.
  11. ISRMafia macrumors regular


    Jun 13, 2016
    There are new USB - 3 Type chargers for ipads ! Check it out
  12. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Jun 6, 2015
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    It does, there are five of them on each of your hands. And people even do Serious Work™ with them.

    Windows is 'purpose driven'?? LOL, I guess so, if your purpose is confusion and inefficiency.

    And the animations in iOS can be turned off. I suggest spending more than a day with iOS and a new device before writing a "review".
  13. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    The iPad Pro uses the same 1st gen Touch ID sensor as the iPhone 6, not the faster 2nd gen sensor of the 6S. So yes, it will be slower than the 6S.
  14. kodos thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2010
    Thanks for the tips on the faster chargers! I didn't realize that the larger Pro has a higher rated charger.

    I am a bit conflicted as to whether or not I should get the larger Pro. Since I do most of my work on my other computers (I program for a living, and so I need a traditional computer for that - which is what my Alienware and Surface Book are for), I mostly needed the iPad for light word processing, an eReader, a research platform, and for flying my Phantom 4.

    And unlike one commentator mistakenly believes, a finger is not a substitute for a trackpad or a mouse. The LOE to point to something (there is no persistence with fingers) is ridiculous. Even the stylus while more precise than my fingers is not something I want to pick up over and over again.
  15. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Jun 6, 2015
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    Like most here who label iOS a "toy", and complain about iPad. As if satisfying developers was the main point of iOS devices.

    You can repeat that talking point, but it still doesn't make it true. You are biased toward legacy input methods, and that's ok; but it's not some kind of universal truth. To my kids, both under 9, a touchscreen is simply how you interact with computers. When presented with a legacy laptop/desktop, it's very awkward and abstract to them why they can't directly interact with the GUI elements, and their use of the mouse is anything but 'precise'.

    There is no technical reason a mouse is more 'precise' than a finger in software designed for touch input. And we would have to even define "precise", and a specific software context, to go further.
  16. Appleaker macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2016
    Actually the main negative for me if the awful camera bump. It is ridiculous on a tablet as you are supposed to be able to hold it any way you like but I find myself avoiding the camera area. I usually wouldn't use a case but I have been forced to as I always think about damaging the camera lens when I put it down.

    RAM is also a problem but it looks like Apple will fix this in the next iteration. They should be fixing iOS as well, since it is no longer efficient with RAM like it used to be.
  17. maxsix Suspended


    Jun 28, 2015
    Western Hemisphere
    I've _never_ used the camera in any of my iPads. Ever.

    An iPad without a camera would be wonderful!
  18. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Jun 6, 2015
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    Being able to scan documents, checks, etc into the iPad directly is nice.
  19. kodos, Aug 7, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2016

    kodos thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2010
    I get it, your children like touch screens. My children, on the other hand, use their iPads for reading and watching movies - and prefer their Surface Pros because games like Minecraft are just better with a mouse and keyboard, and they like using full-featured Word for their homework assignments. Does that make iPad "bad", and Surface "better"? No. They just are better at different things. I am okay with that. If I reviewed the Surface I'd give you a whole list of cons too. You sound incredibly unreasonable when you say that I must march in lockstep with the "touchscreen as the new mouse" paradigm. It isn't.

    I mentioned LOE (Level of Effort) in using a touchscreen. It is beyond dispute that a touchscreen requires a higher LOE to use than a touchpad particularly when you have a keyboard that you are typing on. It is purely simple geometry - there is a significant distance (and tracking) disadvantage in moving your finger off of a keyboard and onto a screen. In addition, there is persistence with a mouse pointer. I can leave a mouse pointer on a widget on the screen, or in the vicinity of common operations, and with my thumb on a trackpad I can tap - all while my fingers are on the home row. A touchscreen can not compete. This is simple geometry, physics, and mechanics. I could even sketch it out with my Apple Pencil :D

    Are there some things that a touchscreen is better at? Absolutely. Anything having to do with inertia, non-linear movement, etc. are phenomenal on a touchscreen.

    At this point, we will just have to agree to disagree. :)
    --- Post Merged, Aug 7, 2016 ---
    Yes, we use this feature all the time for getting homework assignments to our children's iPads and Surfaces when we travel (we homeschool) - and one reason we really disliked the Surface Pro 3's fixed focus camera. I also don't notice the camera hump that much on the iPad Pro when I lay it down either.
  20. Appleaker macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2016
    I like the camera but they shouldn't have gone to the point where it is bulging out of the device. Even with the benifits of the new camera, I still would have preferred the same 8mp sensor from the Air 2 with a flash.
  21. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Jun 6, 2015
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    I didn't say that, or anything even close to it.

    I realize that by saying "it is beyond dispute", you're signaling that this is no longer a dialogue... but for the benefit of others reading along, unless you're typing one-handed, you need the same break of flow to go from typing to moving the mouse, or trackpad. You personally may have the muscle memory for that down, but it's not inherently more efficient. And with a mouse or trackpad there is always a cursor reacquisition time before you can see where it is, and then move it to the next destination. With a touchscreen, I touch where I want it to go, there is no layer of abstraction to deal with first.
  22. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Very true, and why I like using keyboard commands where possible, instead of mouse/trackpad. However, if you are using a laptop with a trackpad built in, the distance you have to travel to get to the trackpad is much shorter than traveling from keyboard to touch screen.

    The thing is, when I first got the 12.9 iPad Pro, I thought I'd use it with a keyboard. But I've found that in actual use, using the on screen keyboard is, for me, the most convenient and comfortable way to use the iPP. There's no bulky keyboard cover to make the iPad heavier (even the Smart Keyboard adds weight to the iPad), and there's no break in flow because all interaction is on one level -- the screen.
  23. kodos, Aug 7, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2016

    kodos thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2010
    You know, you are right - I'm sorry; I read more into your post than I should have. My apologies, sir.

    The amount of sheer energy required to move from keyboard to screen is a fair amount more. You fight gravity for one. Distance moved is much greater, etc. As I mentioned, you also can leave a mouse pointer where it is and tap, tap, tap away on the trackpad for operations like that. In addition, there is a potential for non-linear scale between mouse pointer and distance moved on trackpad/mouse surface.

    For instance, as monitors get larger - a 3" trackpad can still quickly zoom across it. Your shoulders would start to ache with a 34" screen. In addition, this non-linear scaling can work both ways. You can also make a mouse pointer move REALLY slowly if you want by changing the scaling on it.

    I work on commercial games (PC, console), shipped a Kinect game for the XBox 360, and also worked on a commercial Android/iOS mobile title. I have spent some painful years working on human input interfaces, and while a touchscreen has a lot of great benefits, there are considerable drawbacks to efficiencies in the kinds of tasks that are important to me.

    But also, as "Night Spring" mentions above, the interesting thing is that a touchscreen is more efficient with an on-screen keyboard!
  24. mrex macrumors 68030


    Jul 16, 2014
    when you airplay/mirror your screen, you definitely would like to use a mouse with a bt keyboard. it is the most frustrating to watch the mirrored screen and try to reach your ipad just to move the cursor or selecting/tapping something.
  25. Channan macrumors 68030


    Mar 7, 2012
    New Orleans
    Because they can. You still bought one.

Share This Page