iPad thoughts


Oh, by the way: my iPad Pro gets lots of love from me. What an awesome tablet! Not sure I would recommend it to anyone if they did not draw, but if you like to draw, then the iPad Pro plus the Pencil in combination with ProCreate are really mind blowingly good (and from my admittedly limited experience also better than Wacom’s Cintiqs)!

Here’s a drawing I’ve made in an hour or so for my Starbucks tumbler.

So this is all build on the iPad. I’ve measured the blank standard insert in the tumbler and created it to scale in a vector app called Graphic. From there I took it to Pixelmator and from there via iCloud Drive into ProCreate where I then created the actual drawing that fit into the template (the font is my font, by the way). And if you think these are quite too many steps to get this into the app I need it in, you are right. I wished all apps had better integration with iCloud Drive and then simply did what I need them to do: provide exports in a choice of formats that make sense in whatever quality I need.

Anyway, while there are hoops to jump through if you try some things on iOS only, the fact is that drawing on the Pro is just a-ma-zing!

I certainly do not draw enough to justify the price, yet. But I’ve been drawing way more than in the past weeks than I have in the year before, and this makes me happy. Unbeknownst to you, of course, I have also written all my recent blog entries on the Pro. While the combination of tablet and pencil is pure gold, the combo with the keyboard is not as convincing. It’s good and it is clearly better than typing long texts on glass, but it has some frustrating and sometimes surprising limitations (why can’t I get German Umlaute when I long press the appropriate letter, just like on the software keyboard?). What I’ve learned for sure is that a combination of a touch screen and a laptop is a terrible idea. Each time I need to touch the screen to do something when I use the keyboard it is a jarring experience. It’s sort of okay, because I do not consider this neither a “true” tablet not a “true” laptop experience – it’s more of a crutch, to be honest. But something big is missing here (maybe if the keyboard acted like a super sized touchpad, as detailed in some patent applications out there).

I wonder whether I should just take my iPad Pro when I’m traveling to Germany in August and leave my laptop here. This would make sense, because I will have to drag my shitty work PC with me, too, and I hate taking so many devices with me that I have to get through airport checks. But it is clear that right now even my iPad Pro cannot replace my laptop because I cannot create a photo editing workflow that makes sense to me on this platform. Again: it’s worth the limitations to me, because the drawing experience is so great. Apple needs to pull some rabbit out of their hat during WWDC this year, however, if they are serious about the Pro moniker of the iPads and sort of justify all the hoopla about iOS as productivity platform.

Fun fact: even if the Pro could replace my laptop, I would still carry around two big screens. the 12.9″ Pro and my I iPad Air 2. The two devices have very distinct use cases for me (one more creation, one more consumption). And while you might think that the 9.7″ Pro would be the perfect compromise, it’s not, because I want the larger screen to draw.

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