iPad Pro iPad Pro redesign thoughts

Discussion in 'iPad' started by macduke, Oct 17, 2018.

  1. macduke macrumors G4

    macduke

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    #1
    OK, this is a little long, but hear me out.

    At WWDC 2017 Apple unveiled the new iPad Pro alongside a revamped version of iOS specifically for iPad. This was one of the biggest changes to the iPad UI since inception. While it is still a far cry from macOS, it made it a lot more useful for multitasking and made it look more like macOS.

    At WWDC 2018 Apple partially lifted the veil on what was internally referred to as Project Marzipan, while not adding many new features to the iPad. This new system will enable iOS UIKit apps to run on macOS alongside AppKit apps. This is a big deal. However, Apple said they aren't merging iOS and macOS. But what if they're not merged, but converged at the point of application code? This is will be true for macOS being able to run iOS apps, but what would happen if iOS could run macOS apps?

    Now I'm not talking about mouse and keyboard, per se, but the ability to quickly get AppKit up and running with a modified touch layer in UIKit. This is even more interesting when you consider the announcement the other day from Adobe that "full Photoshop" with "real Photoshop code" is coming to the iPad in 2019. That's an interesting statement. Doesn't "real code" mean Mac code? What's even more interesting is that Phil Schiller was on stage for the event, which he never does for third party companies. Apple wants to accelerate getting Pro apps on iPad, and this could be a way to do that faster. Partnering with Adobe makes sense, as they're the market leader in the creative professional space.

    So what does this have to do with the redesigned iPad Pro? The USB-C port with 4K output. This is one of the rumored big new features on the iPad Pro. Macs have USB-C. Lightning can do video and even handle USB 3.0. Apple only changes something like that if there is a really good reason to. What could that reason be?

    Here is where I wander into conjecture, but I think I might be on to something which is why I'm sharing. Perhaps I'm clouded by my desire for this to happen, but here we go. What if you can plug the iPad Pro's USB-C port into any display to turn it into a lightweight Mac? Not actually merged into macOS—can't run any app, can't jack around with the system—but that acts like a Mac productivity wise, much in the same way that the new dock on the iPad looks like a Mac dock but doesn't behave exactly like one.

    With full desktop class apps running on iPad, they could have a sort of universal binary that presents the desktop UI when on an external display, and also tweaks the iOS UI to be more mouse friendly. The smallest of the new iPads is supposed to be even wider than the current 10.5" at 11". What if the iPad, when connected, acts as a keyboard and trackpad, with the option to connect BT devices when connected to an external display?

    Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself here. Or maybe they'll announce the new iPad but not go into any further details and do similar to what I've stated above at a later date—moving to USB-C to lay the groundwork for future updates and their long-term vision. Am I crazy or does this make any sense to you guys? Or perhaps the connector is only so that you can run video-in from a connected Mac. It's just that the Marzipan stuff along with what Adobe said has me thinking something fishy is going on behind the scenes.

    The point against what I've said is that there aren't exactly a lot of displays lying around that you can plug into. TVs might count but it's cumbersome to run a cable to an iPad, say in a hotel room, to use while traveling—which could be a compelling use case for such a device. A wireless display system would be more useful, but would require a whole new set of standards to be implemented by display makers (wireless 4K HDMI?) and would take many years to be commonly found.
     
  2. Momof9 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 22, 2018
    #2
    I like this concept.... I know that there is a lot happening in the computer world.... Almost ALL new laptops are touchscreens except for the macs....

    USBc does have a higher capacity in all ways.... It is too much to think about all of the possibilities.

    I just noticed something, I just noticed at the bottom of my screen.... I am typing via a Bluetooth keyboard. I now have back and forward arrows, word suggestions and B I U and a drop down menu....
     
  3. Greenmeenie, Oct 17, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018

    Greenmeenie macrumors 65816

    Greenmeenie

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    #3
    I not only use my iPad for content consumption, I use it for content creation too. In fact, I am so ingrained in the iOS ecosystem that it’s annoying when I try a regular computer now. I find myself touching the screen instinctively. I welcome usb-c to the iPad pros. I cannot wait to get one of these. It will definitely be my main computer.
     
  4. Dave245 macrumors 604

    Dave245

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    #4
    It’s possbile, don’t forget Apple are working on an external display that’s going to work with the new Mac Pro next year (2019). Maybe the the iPad Pro could be plugged into the new display that Apple is working on and become more of a computer?

    You make a very interesting point with is, especially with the whole full Photoshop app coming to the iPad Pro next year.

    https://www.macworld.co.uk/news/mac/new-apple-display-3474851/
     
  5. Tapiture, Oct 17, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018

    Tapiture macrumors 65816

    Tapiture

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    #5
    I’m a college student and I bought a $2,000+ MacBook Pro this August for school and also brought along my iPad Pro 9.7”, which I bought for $350 2 years ago. Guess which device I’m using more? The iPad. And not just a little more, a LOT more. Taking notes with the Apple Pencil, typing with the Smart Keyboard, I’m finding that it is an incredibly useful little device that weighs and costs 1/3 of the Mac. Yes, the iPad is already nearly there, the only reason I bought my Mac was for pro apps like Sketch, Adobe CC etc. So, as the iPad evolves, it will eventually, for me at least, make the Mac obselte.
     
  6. DNichter macrumors G3

    DNichter

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    #6
    I think Apple's ultimate goal for Marzipan is to create a framework that allows macOS apps to be run on iPad, not primarily the other way around. iPad is the future.
     
  7. Kal-037 macrumors 68000

    Kal-037

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    #7
    I think IF the rumors are true about it being able to power a 4K display... Apple is possibly making it so the iPad can work like a Bamboo tablet, that would be sweet. It's still going to be it's own computer but will be powerful enough to drive 1-2 other 4K displays for drawing, animation, illustration, etc, etc.


    Kallum.
     
  8. profets macrumors 601

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    Mar 18, 2009
    #8
    Good post - I like your thoughts. I’ve been thinking along similar lines myself. I do think they’re up to something, like you said they’re not going to switch to USB-C unless there’s a specific reason or benefit to it (beyond many members wanting USB-C everywhere for a unified charging cable).
     
  9. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

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    #9
    I think you just made up a word.
     
  10. Mabus51 macrumors 65816

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    #10
    USB-C mostly has to do with European rules for universal unified charger. The iPhones will all have it next year. Whether or not Apple will allow them to do more is yet unseen. But I wouldn’t expect much of it.
     
  11. Tapiture macrumors 65816

    Tapiture

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    #11
    Oh god that’s embarrassing. You just obliterated my grammar
     
  12. metalcyclone macrumors member

    metalcyclone

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    #12
    Interesting ideas here!! When I first read that the IPad Pro 2018 would support 4K via USB C I just assumed that Apple was thinking along the lines of 4K movies delivered to an external display and nothing more... I think a USB C connection to one or more monitors to use the iPad as a full blown Mac would be a great idea though!! That may very well be what Apple is thinking...

    I also think the idea that the op mentioned about the iPad being used as a trackpad/keyboard while the external monitor displays Mac apps is a great idea too.

    Personally, I would like very much to have full blown Mac OS on a tablet but I doubt that’s going to happen anytime soon. And I also really enjoy the simplicity of IOS so I guess the ideas in this thread are kind of the best of both worlds. It’s funny, everyone’s always talking about “is the iPad Pro a true laptop replacement?” But what if it was a desktop replacement too... very interesting stuff!!!
     
  13. Mabus51 macrumors 65816

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    #13
    It will be gimped to charging only and maybe a few Apple approved dongles will work. But I wouldn’t expect much of anything. The move to USB-C is to comply with Europe laws nothing more. iPhone will follow suit as well.
     
  14. anthony13 macrumors regular

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    Jul 1, 2012
    #14
    Yea I’m a fan. I suggested over in the main speculation thread that the magnetic connector on the Back suggests the iPad might be a keyboard in some sort of crazy clam shell with another display (think Nintendo ds) and while I’m mostly just speculating you raise some great points. Particularly because I really want to be able to draft on my iPad some day.
     
  15. gnomeisland macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I think if 4K is coming we'll finally external storage compatible with the Files app. How many more peripherals will be supported? Who knows. But since Apple takes care of a lot of those drivers themselves, and iOS still runs on the same BSD framework as MacOS, they could add them in pretty quickly.

    I'm a little skeptical/fearful of Marzipan being and easy port from the Mac to iOS because the user interface is so different. I think that's what is holding back hard-core, professional apps. Not many developers (including Apple) have really tried to tackle implementing full-blown features in an iOS app. Affinity was one of the first. Adobe's Photoshop announcement adds a huge amount of clout. I think Apple will be announcing one of their "Pro" apps as part of the announcement (Logic or Final Cut). Helping port the core code is one thing, but I think translating the UIX is critical, difficult step and making it easy could just make it a mess.

    What intrigues me more is that at some point (fairly soon, I think) Apple will start transitioning MacOS to ARM. Apple has said again and again that iOS and MacOS will not converge. But how could they not? What if the same Apps had two different UIX and depending on the configuration of the tablet it would load the iOS (touch) interface or the MacOS (keyboard/mouse) interface. This is the Holy Grail. Google's newest Chrome Slate seems to get it almost right but the hardware is pricey and even more limited on the software end. Microsoft is stuck in the middle because they *need* to support legacy programs. Apple rarely makes such concessions. Total far future speculation.
     
  16. macduke thread starter macrumors G4

    macduke

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    #16
    Final Cut on the iPad would be crazy and one hell of a demo to plant a flag in the sand and say “This starts here.” It might start more basic too but they can build on it and maybe in five years with newer hardware you could make a whole Hollywood movie on it instead of smaller indie films, YT videos or whatever. I’m not sure if the Mac will completely go away. Desktops will likely be more powerful for some time to come until it gets to a point of diminishing returns and then people stop caring about the performance they don’t need vs. the portability they do need.

    Also Apple has said one thing many times, such as no video iPod, no iPad Mini, and no wireless charging. And probably more, yet here we are. And what I’m suggesting isn’t a merging any more than Marzipan. It’s just about presenting the UI differently so that you can be more efficient when docked.
     
  17. Donka macrumors 68030

    Donka

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    #17
    My biggest concern with the potential new redesign is making the device even thinner if the bezels are also being reduced for a number of possible reasons around the smaller, thinner chassis:

    • Smaller battery may mean lower run time.
    • Reduced heat dissipation and potential for throttling.
    • Lower quality audio if smaller speaker chambers are used.
    • Potential for rear camera to stick out further, more so than a case backing would allow for.
    • Potential for the bright white spot issue that is common on the 10.5 Pro.

    Will be interesting to see how the device reviews and performs.
     
  18. macduke thread starter macrumors G4

    macduke

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    #18
    1. Seems like a legitimate concern. The newer processor should use less energy, though, but the rumored additional RAM could add more power usage. Maybe a smaller logic board. They keep optimizing the power consumption though with newer controllers, algorithms, and lower voltage additional processors, so we'll see.
    2. I think the more energy efficient processor could alleviate that concern, but if they have to optimize it for battery life, then it might not be that much of a speed jump? But we are going from A10X to A12X, so who knows. Probably will allow for bursts of power when you need it.
    3. It seems like they were able to improve the sound quality on the iPhone XS and it has pretty small speakers, so maybe they're getting better at this? But this thing sounds pretty thin. Surely they'll make sure it's at least as good.
    4. Yeah that's a good point. I also wonder if it will have the same main camera from the XS and the XR?
    5. I don't think I've experienced this issue on mine.
     
  19. gnomeisland macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    It really would! I also think (although I use Logic far more in my day-to-day) that Final Cut would make the bigger splash and be easier. The team behind Logic is really good at NOT actually changing. Good for pro users (like me) who just want their workflows to work, but I wonder about their code base. Final Cut seems very up to date with the latest API's etc. I could see film DITs and small-budget cinematographers/editors doing daily cuts on an iPad with a small (Samsung T5) SSD or a rapid transcode option to local/cloud storage. It would make the kind of splash Apple likes.

    Just the fact that Adobe is creating a separate spin-off product for ingesting video footage that will run on iOS tells me there's interest. Apple could regain some luster by launching not only a pre-edit product (like Adobe is doing) but a full-blown (even with limited user-facing features like full-fat iOS Photoshop) Final Cut Pro for iOS. We shall see!

    I agree that desktops will have a place for a long time, especially in video. But realistically a lot of video is still done in 1080P which is very doable for the speeds & storage of these devices.
     
  20. macduke thread starter macrumors G4

    macduke

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    #20
    Oh man I have a Samsung T5 2TB SSD and I’m praying I’ll be able to plug that thing into the new iPad Pro’s USB port and have it work with an update to Lightroom. I use the 100GB on my plan to sync 35,000 lower res smart previews but being able to grab full res to do crops or to pull into Affinity Photo to touch up (or Photoshop next year) would be amazing. I’ve heard you can do it now by purchasing more storage from Adobe but that would be like an extra $20/mo and a lot slower since I’m shooting 42MP RAWs.
     
  21. Donka macrumors 68030

    Donka

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    #21
    What do people think about the rounded screen corners? Not sure how that is going to look when viewing content full screen such as video content or even editing images full screen. I realise it is only a small about clipped from each corner but it would necessitate zooming out a little to ensure there are no unwanted artefacts in the corner of your images when editing.
    Is this an issue for anyone using the likes of an iPhone X or similar?
     
  22. frou, Oct 23, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018

    frou macrumors 6502

    frou

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    #22
    For watching video it strikes me as the kind of thing that's annoying in principle but never actually a dealbreaker in the real world.

    Presumably the designers of pro image apps worth their salt will inset the canvas a bit in situations where it is likely to be a problem.
     
  23. Tarantularock macrumors member

    Tarantularock

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    #23
    I don't think you are crazy and have reached this same line of thinking. Mobile computing is clearly the way the world has moved which leaves the antiquated desktop model for the studios and home offices (small market by comparison). There are still a number of professional applications that keep me tied to my MacBook Pro for now (the photoshop announcement was a surprise). For the rest of my extended family, they already do 90% of everything on iPads... the iMac sits unused most of the time. Apple, of course, knows this as they are experts at market timing!

    I may be jumping the gun as well - I feel this time next week will be the beginning of a turning point for how their hardware is positioned.
     
  24. CritSwift macrumors newbie

    CritSwift

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    #24
    Here's my thoughts.

    First, I'm just ABSOLUTELY starting to learn iOS development, but something I've seen is that you can make different UI's depending on screen size (to allow one app to function on both iPad and iPhone without buying it twice). I believe Apple will expand this and allow another "screen size" for external displays w/ a mouse input. This would mean developers ONLY have to remake the UI but get to keep the main code base for their app and boom: "desktop" use app. This essentially can allow the entire iOS app store to be converted for use as a "desktop" app with minimal investment.

    Second, as far as the main UI, it could just do some cool sliding up animation where your dock on iPad slides up on the monitor (maybe have the same dock layout that's on your iPad or have a saved version with more on them, since the screen is obviously bigger) and function just like the macOS dock does right now. In fact, even have "Launchpad" on iOS and just show your home screen layout!

    Hell, Apple could turn iPads into direct competitors to the Surface lineup by making some sort of hinged keyboard dock like the Surface Book has. Those things already exist by third parties, lacking only the touch pad, which is trivial to add.

    I mean let me be real here; I work at a certain giant electronics retailer, in the computers section to be specific. A vast majority (75%+?) only use internet browsing, note taking, and office-style programs... all things that can be done iPads already. Aside from programming and running games on a Windows computer, that's all that's left for me too; I could replace a laptop with an iPad for day to day.

    Another thing; I really, really think it would be stupid for the USB-C to exist solely for display mirroring (showing the iPad screen on the TV or monitor that is). Its inconvenient to have some massive cable running across your living room to plug in your iPad, or have the iPad sitting next to the TV. Apple already has a solution; the Apple TV. It can mirror your iPad but it also has its own app store that has apps for pretty much any streaming service you might use as well as having the ability to play media you own via its internal storage or the storage of the iPad.
     
  25. gnomeisland macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    At some point Apple is going to transition away from Intel. From the bit of reading I’ve done on Microsoft’s latest attempt to transition to ARM processors, the big thing holding them back isn’t X 86 emulation, but the fact that they don’t have Apple’s faster ARM processors.

    I’d always assumed the first MacOS ARM machines would be a Mac mini or a new MacBook like the Intel transition. Which could still be true, but I would mean the iPad could be a great hybrid device. I know Apple has said they’ll never do that but I think the latest Google Slate thing has shown that it can be done elegantly.
     

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32 October 17, 2018