iPad Pro Using the Pro for Pro things and loving it.

Discussion in 'iPad' started by mkitchen, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. mkitchen macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2008
    First, I know everyone's needs are different. This is me simply showcasing my needs as a professional and how I think the iPad Pro is at meeting those needs. I feel like there has been a lot of conversations lately around the idea that this Pro can't replace a computer or truly be used for Pro things. Well it has for me and I am absolutely loving it, but it doesn't mean it will for you and I am fine with that.

    I am a math teacher. I used to bring an 11" MacBook Air and iPad Air 1 to school every day. I would use the iPad as kind of a mobile smart board where I would walk around my room while we would go over math problems, or I would use the camera to show student work on the screen. I was using the Jot Pro to write and it sucked. I would then take my MacBook Air to meetings to take notes on, review documents, and create assessments.

    I have tried out the iPad Pro to replace both of these devices and these are the results after a week or so:

    Game Changers:

    The pencil is amazing and now I can write math problems in class like a dream and everything looks way better. I primarily use GoodNotes when teaching the class. Writing is buttery smooth, looks good, I can draw a graph so quickly and easily it makes my past notes with Jot Pro embarrassing to look at.

    -Split Screen
    I use the Apple Notes app to plan out a unit. I can pull in pdf's, pictures, drawings, and text notes to plan out the unit. I can then split screen the Notes app next to GoodNotes and copy and paste images over, load PDF's into GoodNotes, and write out some problems. This allows me to go from plans to preparing a class presentation really easily. I love split screen when doing work. It keeps me focused on two tasks and I find that it actually heightens my productivity compared to a laptop. I will also side-by-side Chrome and Notes when prepping a unit and grabbing materials from various sources online.

    I was worried, but it is all good:

    I screen shot a lot, or clip parts of PDF's in Preview when assembling assessments. When leaving my laptop I was worried about this, but Skitch and screen shotting has made this just fine. Then I can easily bring in the pics to Pages, add some text and export it as a PDF if I want. Saving to Google Drive allows me to easily print from my classroom computer.

    Jury is still out

    I am not happy at all with the current Google apps (docs and sheets). I sincerely hope these get updated since Google will not let you load them in a browser. And will my keyboard ever come??? Typing on the screen bothers me after long periods of time.

    I love it. My iPad and MacBook Air are going to go away and the Pro is all I need. It will by no means by my sole computer. I have a 27" iMac with a 2nd monitor at home and a Windows laptop at school in case it needs something special to handle. It also wouldn't be a viable solution for many teachers as it is a pretty expensive device ($1400 for me), but I have a side business selling lessons that paid for it.

    Not trying to start any wars, but I wanted to showcase some Pro things I am doing so others can get ideas. I know my case is specific, but I wanted to show there are non-artist jobs that can do really well with this device.

    (Sorry for the length)
  2. username: macrumors 6502a

    Dec 16, 2013
    How do you find carrying it around while teaching? How do you write and hold it at the same time? Any videos I have seen of someone holding the iPp in one hand and using the pencil with the other look super awkward.

    Also out of interest: how are you broadcasting your iPad screen to the smart board?
  3. H8ter2 macrumors newbie


    Nov 16, 2015
    Really good display of how you have made it work for you doing "pro" things, I think most of the arguments are coming from the smaller segment of people that use that 2 or 3 programs that just aren't quite possible yet on a tablet, or they are just set in their current workflow they don't adapt to possible changes well. Most people I have talked to said everything they were doing on a laptop they can now do on the iPP, sometimes just requiring minor changes in programs or way of doing things. This is what led me to ordering mine and looking forward to the same experience you described here and I've heard from others.

    Thanks for the review
  4. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

    Dec 15, 2010
    Glad you are enjoying it

    Sounds like it fits your needs perfectly
  5. mkitchen thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Hmmm, I never thought about that, I hold it in my left hand/arm and write with my right hand. It doesn't feel uncomfortable to hold and write on, I usually only go in about 10-20 minute stretches at a Tim at most though because I try not to stand and lecture the whole time.

    I use an Apple TV to AirPlay it to my projector. It works really well with no interruptions and good quality.
  6. Krevnik, Nov 23, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2015

    Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    I suspect part of this is how you hold it. If you try to hold it like the Air, it will be super awkward. But if you hold it more like a large clipboard (on your arm with the hand and body stabilizing it), it probably works just fine.

    Honestly, the OP reminds me quite a bit of why the Air 2 replaced my laptop. It isn't my only computer, but it is my portable computer. I take notes on it, manage/plan my project workload with it, and access research using it. Split screen is useful for reaching "Inbox Zero" (creating tasks from incoming e-mail so I can get them out of my Inbox) or planning with something like Things/Trello and Fantastical up at the same time so I don't overload myself with too many goals for that day which I can do at the breakfast table.

    But when I need to sit down and code, I don't like using a laptop. I want my large screens. So in a way the iPad isn't my main productivity machine, per se, but it is a device that helps me be productive before I ever reach my desk, and any other time I'm away from it.

    EDIT: And I totally agree that the Pencil is a game changer. Especially if you are still working with hand-written notes. I diagram, scribble and write, and honestly, if I didn't value the portability of the Air 2 so much I'd be using the Pro too.
  7. username: macrumors 6502a

    Dec 16, 2013
    Lucky to have the apple tvs! Otherwise this is a real challenge
  8. mkitchen thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Yeah, it is my own Apple TV that I brought in, but it is way better than any other options. I tried reflector 2 and airserver. Both were not great options at all. Apple TV is way more reliable.
  9. Jmmyewayn macrumors newbie


    Nov 24, 2015
    Columbus OH
    I use air server in my room to connect to the smart board. I agree it's been really fun to use in a math classroom. It's replaced my need for a computer at school besides printing old docs.
  10. kevroc macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2011
    Okay, big shout out to the mention of airserver. Just tried it and what a killer app, wow...
  11. kevroc macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2011
    I'm having a hard time finding a good screenshot process and app for marking them up. You are using Skitch for that? Would you elaborate a bit on the screenshot workflow? It's a bit confusing having apps "share" to another app and finding the original etc., I'm curious to hear how you "manage" that.

    Also, if you have to edit the original image, do you re-share and replace in the destination app?
  12. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    It's good hearing these stories where people are really enjoying the pro at work
  13. MartyCan macrumors 68000


    Oct 31, 2012
    Near Toronto, ON
    This is genius! Never even thought of redirecting via my Apple TV!
  14. mkitchen thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Sure. So I will find an image on image search or I will open up a PDF in whatever reader you want (including browser). I will then take a screenshot (power button and home button pushed together). This automatically saves the image your pictures.

    Now if all you want to do is crop and change the image then you can do that in photos. If you want to crop and save a copy of the cropped image separately or mark-up anything like hightlights, arrows, etc then Skitch is better. I will then go to Skitch. It hasn't been updated yet, so there are still some minor issues, but it works fine. I crop it and mark it up if I need to and then save it back to images as a different image.

    I can then go into any other app like Pages or Notes and insert an image from my photo library and the screen shot is there.

    There are probably other apps to edit screenshots (photos) likea this that I haven't gotten into yet, but I just had skitch on my iPad. I will explore others later.

    I use screenshots all the time. If they are in your camera roll they are very quick to throw into pretty much any app. If you don't like them in your camera roll you can still do work arounds with drop box or google drive but it might be more hoops.
  15. kevroc macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2011
    That's awesome, truly appreciate the reply.

    Just a few thoughts from what I've learned.

    I've gone back and forth to Skitch a few times over the last couple of days trying to make it work. It's pretty good overall but I've had occasional quirks with the tools for some reason. I've switched over to "Graphic" for the time being, it's a bit overkill and the learning curve is a little steeper, but I ultimately want to save my marked up images for re-editing if need be. After a day or so I'm moving around in it pretty well...

    I've also been experimenting with Noteability, it has the ability to drop a photo in and then "edit" the embedded image right in the note page. That saves a step because you can edit the image within the same application, but I've had some quirks with their image editing tools as well.

    There are really a lot of ways to accomplish some of these things, I'd like to nail it down so I can move on :)
  16. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    When the scalpers stop buying up all the Pencils in my city, I will start to appreciate the iPad Pro.
  17. mkitchen thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2008
    I saw Graphic, but I thought it looked like overkill for anything I would be using it for, but I am very intrigued by it. I will have to look into it more. I figured it was only for image creation, i didn't think about editing existing images. I will see what else I can dig up on it.

    I have not messed around with Noteability because I love GoodNotes so much. GoodNotes is a must if your ever "present" your notes over airplay to others (which most people don't) because it hides your tools and gives you added features for presenting. It is pretty epic from that side. I did consider getting notability to plan my lesson units out and then copy over to GoodNotes (so I can use side-by-side) but I ended up going with Apple's Notes because I found it to be the best drawing platform currently... I may still try Noteability. I just didn't feel like spending $6 if I thought I probably wouldn't use it. Which after typing that sounds rediculous considering I just spent $1400 on my new iPP set up.
  18. mkitchen thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2008
    I get it man. I had to write an email to Tim Cook before I could get a Pencil, and I refreshed BestBuy constantly for 2-3 days straight before I found that I could buy the keyboard (I actually saw it on MacRumors first). It sucks, but it was worth the annoying wait.
  19. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    I will wait for my online order shipping in mid December patiently since there is no Best Buy here.

    I hate scalpers but it's Apple's arrangement - limited stock only available at 10AM on weekdays, no online reservation but first come first served. This basically filtered out all people who have a day job and are not near the Apple Store. Coupled with the rude or indifferent attitude of the Store staff, it's just like those scalpers are the real customers and I'm not. Apple is like encouraging the scalpers.

    However, If nobody buys from these scalpers, they will lose money and will sell below cost soon. But I don't have faith in humanity. Prisoner's dilemma.
  20. sliderbot macrumors newbie


    Aug 19, 2015

    I use an iPad Air and an app called Doceri to teach high school math. Doceri is basically a screen sharing app that allows you to control your mac (or PC) and then "freeze" the screen and write on it. It is the only one I can used since it allows you to zoom into the screen without the students seeing the zoom on the projector. However, if the Pencil is as good as everyone says I might be able to run my slides and PDF's off of the iPad alone. I would probably use an apple TV and airplay to get the video to my projector.
  21. kevroc macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2011
    Graphic can be a bit much, but once you get used to it you get spoiled a bit. It's more of a design tool then a painting tool like ProCreate. It's been great for me where I had to trace a trail on a map, it creates points along the line that you can later move to fine tune your line. Also, you can do layers, so I made the map the "base layer" and then added my line as a layer on top, so for different routes you can add more layers and then toggle the layer visibility to only see what you want.

    So, for your case, you could have a math problem as the base layer and then have multiple layers on top of that with each layer showing successively how to solve the problem (just an example)

    It's funny you mention GoodNotes Presentation ability, that's the first thing I noticed when using the airshare app :)

    I already had Noteability and GoodNotes, so it was easier for me to compare. I do prefer the writing experience in GodNotes, but some of the features in Noteability are nice. I went to import a 70 page PDF into Noteability and it lets you pick which page to bring in, I thought that was cool. Both apps are so good though it really comes down to what fits your flow.

    I have note been able to get to like Apple Notes, maybe for random drawings, but it seems way to limited for tracking notes on an ongoing basis. That might be how you are using it, more like scratch paper to show work and then move on. That actually sounds pretty good for that app. I need to try it that way...

    Now with all of this, I actually use OneNote a LOT. I've been using that primarily on my Windows Tablet for the last year. I have that synced to my desktop, tablet and phone. My foray with the iPad Pro / Pencil is to downsize from my Windows Table to the iPad and pick up some of the cool iOS features and apps that you can't do well on the Windows tablet. So for now I'm using it primarily while trying to see if one of these other could be a replacement.

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