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iPad Pro Switching to the 12.9": My real world usage story

hanske68

macrumors member
Jan 21, 2020
50
47
Wait long enough and see the ipad evolve into a macbook with a limited operating system.

Years from now people may scratch the back of their heads when they finally see that a we all wasted many years reinventing the wheel. And Apple laughing out loud for all the money we spend on that "innovation".
 
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Namara

Contributor
Apr 16, 2020
2,968
2,825
East of the sun, west of the moon
Well, we're going to spend our money on something, and some of us like to spend it on Apple stuff. In the grand scheme, an iPP (and a refurb at that) and Magic Keyboard isn't a big investment. I've been buying Apple (and Windows-based) gear for 34 years and it's been a great ride. I don't see that ending any time soon.

How Apple or any other computer company views my purchases is not a factor. We wouldn't buy tech stuff unless there was a need. The innovation and technology, as always, is evolving and moving forward, so it's hard to see how we would be wasting "many years reinventing the wheel." I love Macbooks; they're amazing, but an iPad Pro plus Magic Keyboard is the most flexible combo for my needs these days.
 
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rkuo

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2010
880
426
I have a Mac Pro (2013) that I run Screens Connect (like Jump Desktop) for when I need access to macOS. Even before the latest trackpad improvements I was using Screens with a mouse for this and it worked well enough that I didn’t really think about it. With the new trackpad support it is nearly perfect.

I’m thinking about trying out Jump Desktop to do a comparison but even with Screens and a decent net connection using my iPad Pro to access my Mac desktop takes any real risk of missing out on a macOS feature out of the equation.
Jump Desktop is remarkably inexpensive and full featured with tons of well thought out options for touch navigation and keyboard bindings and resolution control etc ... it's easily worth the price vs a glorified VNC client.
[automerge]1591566050[/automerge]
Over the last couple of weeks using the 12.9” Pro with Magic Keyboard, I’ve found two things about the multitasking:

1) Put simply, I use both Split Screen and Slide Over a lot more, and I was already a heavy user of both on my 11” Pro.

2) Taking point 1 into consideration, it quickly becomes very annoying when an app doesn’t have multi-window, split screen, or slide over support. I like to have some specific app pairings in my multitasking setup, and I could have so many more if more of my regularly used apps would let me do that. Microsoft finally got on board with it, so that was nice, but I have a handful that need to get with the times.
Yes, the multitasking gets irritating pretty fast. Case in point ... I like to have YouTube and Safari open in split screen. I click on a safari link and it opens up reddit app in full screen, nuking my context. Ugh.

I also like being able to fast switch between slide over apps, but I don't think there's a way to do this for apps in split screen mode.

It all just needs deliberate and thoughtful attention.
 
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cupcakes2000

macrumors 6502a
Apr 13, 2010
944
876
Jump Desktop is remarkably inexpensive and full featured with tons of well thought out options for touch navigation and keyboard bindings and resolution control etc ... it's easily worth the price vs a glorified VNC client.
How does it cope with slow networks? Is there any benefit over a standard client? Any special features or engines to help?
 
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augustya

Suspended
Feb 17, 2012
3,331
459
I have noticed a lot of arguing in a lot of threads lately over what size iPad Pro is "ideal" or "best" or "most versatile" or whatever. I think there are a lot of people not getting a lot of help with their decision reading through those arguments because everyone is going to have their own personal reasons for wanting one size or the other. The problem is that the introduction of the Magic Keyboard seems to be causing a lot of people to reconsider what size iPad Pro is really best for them and are having trouble deciding now. I've even seen several people say they bought both and now can't figure out which to return!

I wanted to just tell my version of the story here to maybe give a little perspective. My iPad Pros have basically taken all tasks over from my Mac over the years, and with that in mind I decided to just throw caution to the wind and go with the 12.9" without really doing much real world testing or even having an open Apple Store to go and really spend some time comparing and contrasting between the two. I have NEVER owned a 12.9" model before now and never really wanted to, because I found them to be comically large and weird. So here's kind of how it went for me, in stages:

1. This thing is too big and heavy--I've made a huge mistake.
When I first got the 12.9" 2020 iPad Pro, I did not have my Magic Keyboard yet, just my dBrand skin that I had planned on putting on the back for protection, my screen protector, and my gen 2 Apple Pencil. I spent about 4 days using it with just these accessories and no other "case", and it felt slightly ridiculous to have such a large tablet. I wasn't used to handling such a large slab and constantly felt like I was going to whack it into something or drop it. I was also kind of dreading how much weight the Magic Keyboard was going to add and was thinking I might return it and get the Smart Keyboard Folio instead.

2. Why did I never use my 11" model this way?
After about two full days of using my 12.9" iPad "naked" I realized something key to the whole experience: this felt better than using the 11" iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard Folio attached folded around back, which is how I ALWAYS did it when using the 11" as a tablet. This felt thinner, sleeker, lighter, and more seamless than having all that baggage stuck to the back. I started feeling silly for never having tried using my smaller iPads in this way. Also--the 12.9" started feeling, dare I say.....normal sized?

3. My Magic Keyboard arrives and I feel I've made a mistake again.
My Magic Keyboard arrived via UPS about 4 days later and I had started enjoying the iPad Pro so much that I wasn't really even thinking about it too much. When I unboxed it and attached it, I felt like I had just ruined the iPad. It was now twice as thick and much heavier and felt like my Macbook Pro. Definitely a nicer FEELING cover than the SKF as far as fit and finish and build quality, but just a lot bulkier. I was once again questioning my decision to size up.

4. Magic Keyboard finds its place.
I worked with the Magic Keyboard for a few days and stopped noticing the extra size/weight. I realized that just because I could carry the iPad all over the house with the Magic Keyboard doesn't mean that I have to. This was a completely different beast than what I was used to with the Smart Keyboard Folio, which was slightly more awkward to remove and leave behind due to its floppy-ness. Long story short: I usually store the iPad Pro on my desk. If I'm using it at my desk or at the kitchen table, it's on the Magic Keyboard. If I'm using it on the couch or in bed, the Magic Keyboard stays on my desk until I'm done using the iPad. (I started thinking about how I would want to transport this whole setup once it's safe to start leaving the house more, and decided on a TomToc sleeve.)

5. This is normal.
Going to a 12.9" iPad Pro AND adding on the Magic Keyboard all in one upgrade cycle was a HUGE change for me. It added a lot of screen size, weight, and bulk. But now it just seems like a normal sized iPad to me. It's also a good lesson in what happens when you add a "real" keyboard to a device like this. You have to be willing to accept what that entails. But all in all, I am REALLY enjoying using the 12.9" iPad Pro as just a tablet or as my full blown laptop. I can decide which, and it's incredibly easy to do. At this point, you couldn't pay me to go back down to the 11".

I think there's a reason some of you are hemming and hawing about the 12.9": it's because you know deep down that's probably the one you need. I just wanted to communicate that in my experience, it felt like my hesitation was confirmed, but it didn't take long for the 12.9" to feel like the iPad I've been waiting for since 2010.


Ok great to read your version of story ! So now who would you suggest the 11" Size is for ? I think come 2021 when Apple releases its first ever Mini-LED 12.9" iPad Pro the 11" is going to be shelved any which ways.
 
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GuruZac

macrumors 65816
Sep 9, 2015
1,300
2,647
Ok great to read your version of story ! So now who would you suggest the 11" Size is for ? I think come 2021 when Apple releases its first ever Mini-LED 12.9" iPad Pro the 11" is going to be shelved any which ways.
That may be possible, especially with the rumored next iPad Air gaining FaceID and an iPad Pro like design. Would make the 11” iPad Pro potentially redundant although the iPad Pros are substantially more powerful than the Air. I think the 11” iPad Pro, or at least a smaller iPad Pro size will stick around for a while yet. Who it’s for can only be decided by the user. I think the remarkable part about the 12.9” iPad Pro is how much smaller it is and feels vs the original 12.9” iPad Pro design. It got a lot smaller without sacrificing the display size so it’s not nearly as unwieldy feeling as the original which still feels like a big device.
 
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spiderman0616

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Aug 1, 2010
3,762
4,151
Ok great to read your version of story ! So now who would you suggest the 11" Size is for ? I think come 2021 when Apple releases its first ever Mini-LED 12.9" iPad Pro the 11" is going to be shelved any which ways.
I would still definitely recommend the 11" Pro for someone who uses it as a supplement to their Mac, but might still do some laptop type things with it. That was kind of the situation I was in until I started using mine more for video/photo editing, graphic design, etc. Over time it just took all those jobs away from my Mac.

One thing you don't hear mentioned a lot--I would also recommend the 11" Pro for people who just want the best possible iPad for consumption--you can't beat the quad audio and ProMotion screen.
 
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MyopicPaideia

macrumors 68020
Mar 19, 2011
2,098
918
Sweden
How does everyone use thei 12.9“ from an ergonomic point of view? Just a stand on a desk would give me neck and back pain, need something to elevate it to eye level (for use with a BT mouse & trackpad). Ideas/pics would be great. Strongly considering getting a 12.9 myself now :)

Super Simple WFH setup using stuff I already had. $10 adjustable iPad tabletop stand, Apple Magic Keyboard with Number pad, Magic Trackpad 2 and 28” 4K monitor. USB-C extension cable connected to the Apple USB-C multi-adapter (HDMI). It is an amazingly exceptional experience.
504751BD-F9D3-4F92-AACD-C80DB9901B3F.jpeg
 
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Jon Rowlison

macrumors member
Aug 25, 2014
42
43
That has been my exact experience thus far... I went through the same process with ordering and having my magic keyboard back-ordered by a week, etc...

I'm currently half-way from step 4 to step 5 and I like to leave the magic keyboard behind... except when it's time to reply to email. I like the 'naked' 12.9 inch feel. I bought it to replace the form-factor of a regular 8.5x11 sheet of paper and it hits that mark perfectly for me.
 
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Nuno Lopes

macrumors 6502
Sep 6, 2011
276
285
Lisbon, Portugal
Funny you should mention "Back To My Mac"....I was just thinking about that feature today. I think iCloud Desktop has largely replaced it for me, but the full blown feature would be great to have, well, back.

May use case for ramped you Back Ti My Mac from the iPad, is not so much in terms of accessing the file system but Remote Dektop.

I think here if Apple really tried I have plenty of ideas where this could be done in very unique ways beyond what Remote Desktop is today. Imagine something like Parallels Coherence by between the iPad and the Remote Mac.
 
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MyopicPaideia

macrumors 68020
Mar 19, 2011
2,098
918
Sweden
What monitor/TV is that?
Cheapo 28” 4K panel distributed by a company called SWEDX, here in Sweden. If you scroll down the link the specs info is all in English. Great for the price, but it is irritating that I can’t fix the underscan issue you are seeing the picture. My 45” screen in the office doesn’t have that problem.
 
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jimmy_uk

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2015
1,169
1,083
UK
Ok great to read your version of story ! So now who would you suggest the 11" Size is for ? I think come 2021 when Apple releases its first ever Mini-LED 12.9" iPad Pro the 11" is going to be shelved any which ways.
I have this concern also. If I invest in an 11" Pro and AMK today, will Apple ditch this size next year making the AMK a poor "investment" for a future upgrade and trying to keep the keyboard? I guess buy what you need today.
 
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augustya

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Feb 17, 2012
3,331
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I have this concern also. If I invest in an 11" Pro and AMK today, will Apple ditch this size next year making the AMK a poor "investment" for a future upgrade and trying to keep the keyboard? I guess buy what you need today.

How is it a poor investment ? even if the 11" is ditched. You get all the Software Upgrades & Support and Hardware Service even in future so how is it a poor investment ??
 
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jimmy_uk

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2015
1,169
1,083
UK
How is it a poor investment ? even if the 11" is ditched. You get all the Software Upgrades & Support and Hardware Service even in future so how is it a poor investment ??
I just mean in regards to the AMK. So in a year+ some may want a newer ipad 11" upgrade with the latest chip etc and so you could keep the current AMK (in theory). But if the Pro 11" gets discontinued then whatever upgrade model you'd need to switch to would also require a newer AMK.
 
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augustya

Suspended
Feb 17, 2012
3,331
459
I just mean in regards to the AMK. So in a year+ some may want a newer ipad 11" upgrade with the latest chip etc and so you could keep the current AMK (in theory). But if the Pro 11" gets discontinued then whatever upgrade model you'd need to switch to would also require a newer AMK.

But if you use this AMK why do you need another one ? For just the Functions Keys Row ?
 
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jimmy_uk

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2015
1,169
1,083
UK
But if you use this AMK why do you need another one ? For just the Functions Keys Row ?
I'm talking about if Apple retires the 11" ipad - so doesnt make a 2021 11", then your AMK is no good for using on a different size ipad in the future when you want to upgrade. Don't worry about it, we're going off topic. Let's leave it there.
 
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auralux

macrumors demi-god
Mar 7, 2017
1,733
2,090
I have noticed a lot of arguing in a lot of threads lately over what size iPad Pro is "ideal" or "best" or "most versatile" or whatever. I think there are a lot of people not getting a lot of help with their decision reading through those arguments because everyone is going to have their own personal reasons for wanting one size or the other. The problem is that the introduction of the Magic Keyboard seems to be causing a lot of people to reconsider what size iPad Pro is really best for them and are having trouble deciding now. I've even seen several people say they bought both and now can't figure out which to return!

I wanted to just tell my version of the story here to maybe give a little perspective. My iPad Pros have basically taken all tasks over from my Mac over the years, and with that in mind I decided to just throw caution to the wind and go with the 12.9" without really doing much real world testing or even having an open Apple Store to go and really spend some time comparing and contrasting between the two. I have NEVER owned a 12.9" model before now and never really wanted to, because I found them to be comically large and weird. So here's kind of how it went for me, in stages:

1. This thing is too big and heavy--I've made a huge mistake.
When I first got the 12.9" 2020 iPad Pro, I did not have my Magic Keyboard yet, just my dBrand skin that I had planned on putting on the back for protection, my screen protector, and my gen 2 Apple Pencil. I spent about 4 days using it with just these accessories and no other "case", and it felt slightly ridiculous to have such a large tablet. I wasn't used to handling such a large slab and constantly felt like I was going to whack it into something or drop it. I was also kind of dreading how much weight the Magic Keyboard was going to add and was thinking I might return it and get the Smart Keyboard Folio instead.

2. Why did I never use my 11" model this way?
After about two full days of using my 12.9" iPad "naked" I realized something key to the whole experience: this felt better than using the 11" iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard Folio attached folded around back, which is how I ALWAYS did it when using the 11" as a tablet. This felt thinner, sleeker, lighter, and more seamless than having all that baggage stuck to the back. I started feeling silly for never having tried using my smaller iPads in this way. Also--the 12.9" started feeling, dare I say.....normal sized?

3. My Magic Keyboard arrives and I feel I've made a mistake again.
My Magic Keyboard arrived via UPS about 4 days later and I had started enjoying the iPad Pro so much that I wasn't really even thinking about it too much. When I unboxed it and attached it, I felt like I had just ruined the iPad. It was now twice as thick and much heavier and felt like my Macbook Pro. Definitely a nicer FEELING cover than the SKF as far as fit and finish and build quality, but just a lot bulkier. I was once again questioning my decision to size up.

4. Magic Keyboard finds its place.
I worked with the Magic Keyboard for a few days and stopped noticing the extra size/weight. I realized that just because I could carry the iPad all over the house with the Magic Keyboard doesn't mean that I have to. This was a completely different beast than what I was used to with the Smart Keyboard Folio, which was slightly more awkward to remove and leave behind due to its floppy-ness. Long story short: I usually store the iPad Pro on my desk. If I'm using it at my desk or at the kitchen table, it's on the Magic Keyboard. If I'm using it on the couch or in bed, the Magic Keyboard stays on my desk until I'm done using the iPad. (I started thinking about how I would want to transport this whole setup once it's safe to start leaving the house more, and decided on a TomToc sleeve.)

5. This is normal.
Going to a 12.9" iPad Pro AND adding on the Magic Keyboard all in one upgrade cycle was a HUGE change for me. It added a lot of screen size, weight, and bulk. But now it just seems like a normal sized iPad to me. It's also a good lesson in what happens when you add a "real" keyboard to a device like this. You have to be willing to accept what that entails. But all in all, I am REALLY enjoying using the 12.9" iPad Pro as just a tablet or as my full blown laptop. I can decide which, and it's incredibly easy to do. At this point, you couldn't pay me to go back down to the 11".

I think there's a reason some of you are hemming and hawing about the 12.9": it's because you know deep down that's probably the one you need. I just wanted to communicate that in my experience, it felt like my hesitation was confirmed, but it didn't take long for the 12.9" to feel like the iPad I've been waiting for since 2010.
Thank you for taking the time to share this journey. I am about to embark on the same exact journey as I depart from using a MBP and transition to the iPad fully replacing it. I am sure it won't be without some frustrations and learning along the way, but I look forward to the adventure and reaching my final destination.
 
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spiderman0616

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Aug 1, 2010
3,762
4,151
Thank you for taking the time to share this journey. I am about to embark on the same exact journey as I depart from using a MBP and transition to the iPad fully replacing it. I am sure it won't be without some frustrations and learning along the way, but I look forward to the adventure and reaching my final destination.
I have to say that I've only become more and more convinced that I made the right decision since I originally posted, and that's due to how much better of a laptop stand-in this is than my 11" Pro was. As I mentioned earlier, I have a work-issued MBP that I use in my office for my job. It's connected to two monitors and usually gets used more like a desktop.

Every now and then I will just go to another room or another location to work just for a change of scenery. I used to unhook my Mac from everything and take it with me to do that. With the 12.9" Pro, I don't need to do that anymore. I put my 4 main work apps in split screen and swipe back and forth between them and it works every bit as well as on my Mac. This is most definitely the most versatile computer I've ever owned.
 
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Mr.Blacky

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2016
692
744
Austria
Most things are way faster and more "fun" with a touch interface, because you can directly hit your target (or even multiple at the same time) instead of dragging a cursor to it's destination and then click on it. So it's very sad to see, how many people are destroying the tablet experience for themselves (and possible for me too, in the long term) 🙁
 
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Namara

Contributor
Apr 16, 2020
2,968
2,825
East of the sun, west of the moon
Most things are way faster and more "fun" with a touch interface, because you can directly hit your target (or even multiple at the same time) instead of dragging a cursor to it's destination and then click on it. So it's very sad to see, how many people are destroying the tablet experience for themselves (and possible for me too, in the long term) 🙁
Destroying the tablet experience? Hardly. I love the touch interface and use it for many things, but try to use touch to get between two letters in a word, and I'm darn glad I have the trackpad and cursor. Best of both, I say, and a joy to use all around.
 
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spiderman0616

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Aug 1, 2010
3,762
4,151
Most things are way faster and more "fun" with a touch interface, because you can directly hit your target (or even multiple at the same time) instead of dragging a cursor to it's destination and then click on it. So it's very sad to see, how many people are destroying the tablet experience for themselves (and possible for me too, in the long term) 🙁

If I'm going to be doing a lot of typing, text editing or using web based stuff for my job that wasn't really designed for touch, I use it with the Magic Keyboard. If I'm going to be doing anything else with it, the Magic Keyboard stays on my desk, and I use it as a tablet. The only thing that "ruins" is the usefulness of my Mac.
 
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