Finally, after six or so generations of iPads, I finally was able to get my hands on one! I have wanted one since the first iteration, but I am glad that I waited until the iPad Pro 9.7″. Below you will see an ever evolving list of all the amazing uses I have found for my iPad Pro 9.7″, and why the iPad Pro 13″ – and any other current version of iPad – is less than ideal investment.
The device is finally fast enough that I do not expect it to slow down when a new major iOS update comes out. The amount of iPad 3’s and lower that are now simply dead weights hurts my environmentalist heart. In my opinion, this has been a huge problem with Apple’s infrastructure until the release of the iPhone 5 – if you updated your phone after the new iDevice came out, your iDevice would become relentlessly slow from not having enough power to handle the new update features. It may lack a bit of RAM to get exactly what I would like out of certain apps (e.g.: Procreate only allows about 15 layers due to RAM limitations).
The 100% RGB colour accuracy display simply makes the iPad the cheapest, high functioning (and mobile) display for creatives. Now, whether I am working from home on a Windows PC, or on-the-go on my Macbook Pro, I can guarantee all my photos and videos will display the colours that I want across any viewer’s display. This alleviates one of the biggest disappointments I have had for years – spending hours on making my visual look just right, only to have it look weird on my partner’s computer. This problem is an even bigger confidence killer when you are working a paid gig like a wedding. I talk about this below, but to achieve this platform wide use… buy the Duet app immediately.
Now, I have to note that this means that the 13″ pro display is completely pointless for creatives. This colour accuracy is completely lost on the larger displays. All you get is larger real-estate, which is a little obnoxiously large. The only use I can see for this iPad is for maybe office workers, who need to work extensively with PDFs and sign documents a lot.
Duet display ($13.99 on iOS) is simply the best app on iPad for creatives. In short, it turns your iPad into a lag-free second display for your Windows or Mac computer via a lightning cable. This may not seem like a lot, but remember that it gives you 100% RGB colour accuracy. This allows you to drag whatever you are working on onto your iPad screen for a perfect colour correction and colour grading experience, at home from your desktop powerhouse or your on-the-go from your laptop. To buy a colour accurate second display, it would cost $520 CAD for a non-portable display – an investment that does not go very far.
Why would you want just a boring display, when you can get a display that also has touch screen capabilities? This brings home multiple possibilities.
If you are mixing music in REAPER – like I often do – you have a touch screen digital mixer at your fingertips. It definitely makes my entire music production workflow more seamless, being able to dial in volume envelopes like I would on live analog mixer.
If you are a photographer or artist, Duet and the apple pencil give you tilt, pressure, and palm rejection inputs. So, if you wanted to draw something on photoshop instead of on an iPad app (possibly because you need to utilize more RAM than the iPad Pro offers), you have the exact same drawing features at your disposal. It could also be used as a second display to have all your tools, giving you full real-estate on your laptop’s screen.
If you are working on an older Macbook, the app gives you access to your programs touchbar – the feature they introduced in the 2016 macbook lineup. I absolutely love this touchbar in the adobe platform. When I am editing a video, it gives me a touch interface to scrub back and forth on my timeline without moving anything in my main window. It takes a bit to utilize the touchbar to it’s maximum productivity, but in my opinion, touch interfaces make the experience quicker and more intuitive when you get used to it.
The possibilities are really endless, and it just depends on the type of user that you are. In the end, I think that having a second display increases everyones productivity.