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M Series iPad Pros


Dr. Nathan Parker

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How many of you have invested in an M Series iPad Pro? While the concept of an M Series iPad Pro looks neat and powerful, to me, it seems iPadOS still hinders what one can do on one. Is it a waste of extra power, or is there a real use for one?

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I have an M1 series. To answer your question, invest in a Mac workstation (desktop/laptop) first. I use my iPad a lot but mainly after working hours for leisure. I could live without it. iPad OS is behind the power in the iPad by several generations.

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I just made the decision against getting one. I'm sticking with my iPad mini.

 

One thing I can say is that the A15 chip is fast enough for what I do, reading and taking notes with the pencil. It can handle huge files in text editors and word processors without any problems.

 

I guess the pro would be good for Accordance Cloud and maybe someone will confirm. Also, if I had to choose between a Samsung Galaxy Tab and iPad Pro for a business meeting or travel, I would pick the Pro.

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I have a 2021 M1 iPad 11 inch. This was an upgrade to my failing iPad Air 2. I had hoped upgrades to iOS were going to make it more laptop-esque, but it didn't work out that way. It is a good device for what it does but I would have been better off investing the funds in a new MacBook.

 

The one upside is that with the iPad Air 2 I got several years out of it, and I am confident that I can expect the same with the Pro.

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I have the M1 12.9 iPad - I think it is a great device for what it is but if you want it to be a MacBook then it will never satisfy... it is really good for content consumption (newspapers are fab as is Netflix/Apple TV) - the micro LED screen is great (but you get that on MacBook Pros)... writing apps (Ulysses in my case) work very well... anything which involves drawing is better (obviously, the pencil etc) - this includes infinite canvas apps (Muse) which I use a lot as a form of mind mapping but without the strictures you normally get with outlining programmes

 

the biggest problem for me is Accordance which I think is pretty dire in its iOS version so I am hoping that the new web version fixes this because it is clear the iOS version is always going to be 'its own thing' which I know some like but I really don't

 

my main machine is a iMac - I couldn't use just the iPad but I can use it (and be pleased to use it) as main transportable machine

 

hope this helps

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I just ordered the M2 iPad Pro released two days ago to replace my 2018 iPad Pro. I wanted an M-series iPad ever since Apple showed off full extended monitor support this past summer at WWDC (which supposedly will only work with the M-series). That will be very helpful for Accordance for iOS/iPadOS demos.

 

Also, iPadOS is actually my favorite platform, and I love the iPad form factor. If I didn't work for a company that is heavily invested in Windows & macOS, I can imagine I would spend the majority of time using an iPad. When I taught college classes a few years ago, I did everything from an iPad. And that was even before larger-screen iPad Pros were out. 

 

And while I hope this doesn't actually come to pass, I would be tempted to give it a shot if it did in some kind of dual-boot situation. The iPad Pro I ordered on Tuesday has 1 TB of storage. If it turns out I can use the one device to replace a Mac and an iPad, I'm sure I will wish I'd bought the 2 TB model.

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Rick, 

If Accordance 14 comes out in the next 15 days, you might be able to return your iPad Pro 1 TB and upgrade to 2TB...hint hint hint!!!

 

Go Jeeps!!

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14 minutes ago, calton said:

If Accordance 14 comes out in the next 15 days, you might be able to return your iPad Pro 1 TB and upgrade to 2TB...hint hint hint!!! 

 

Too bad I got that engraving option for the first time ever. 

 

14 minutes ago, calton said:

Go Jeeps!!

 

💚

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Good discussion! I love my iPad mini for reading. I’m actually selling my old iPad Pro since I haven’t been using it. I still seem to use the iPad for reading/consumption and the Mac for producing content. 

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@R. Mansfield Since you're really enjoying iPadOS, what are some things you're doing on an iPad now that you used to use a Mac for? I wonder if I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing on an iPad and shift some of my Mac workflow to one.

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On 10/20/2022 at 9:42 AM, R. Mansfield said:

iPadOS is actually my favorite platform, and I love the iPad form factor.

 

Of the three main apple platforms, I would say that the mac and the iPhone are the devices that are most essential for my needs, but the iPad is the device that I enjoy using the most. 

 

I have an 11inch iPad Pro (M1) because I was originally considering the iPad Air but the storage tiers offered on the air vs the pro were oddly spaced. For the price of a 256gb air, I could get a 128gb pro (enough for me, but the Air wasn't offered with this option), so I went with the pro. I like it. Yes, the software is inadequately matched to the hardware, but I'm hopeful that this situation will improve in the near future.

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I love my iPad for a consumption device when I'm not at my desk... but just as a raw tool for productivity, there is still no comparison to the productivity of a Mac (for me).  The "for me" is important, because I get for some workflows / users, that might not be true.  For me, some of that is related to the anemic nature of some iPad software vs Mac software (sorry Accordance, you're in that category, but hoping for great things in the future!! 😀)  I think the software is often hamstrung on Mac because it often is a growth from a simplified iPhone interface than a rework of the Mac interface.

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15 hours ago, Rich said:

I love my iPad for a consumption device

And for me,  a note taking device at conferences and for initial preparation because it means i dont have to go to my desk and can do it in comfort wherever i happen to be. Its so portable, slipping in the back pocket of my camera bag.

I still need my mbp on a desk for proper work but it does drastically reduce the amount of time i am desk bound but not sure it will ever replace a proper full fat computer, even with the clip on keyboard. also apps seem not to be supported, i have lost count of the number of apps ive bought but then stop working when i upgrade the ios, far more than when i have upgraded the os on my mbp.

Edited by ukfraser
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if you judge iPad Pro by standards of a MacBook it will always be found wanting - it is about playing to strengths

obviously iPad is better at content consumption - I have the 12.9 M1 iPad and I don't use the TV anymore because it is so much better

 

but there is work too... I know Final Cut, Logic and X-code are not available and if you need them then you need a MacBook

but if you want to draw or write notes...

if you want to use an infinite canvas app to draw out a book/major research piece then iPad excels - it is expensive but take a look at Muse

if you want to write Ulysses (particularly) but also and Scrivener excel on iPad 

also on research topic apps like liquid text and highlights are way better on iPad than a Mac

 

by far the biggest gap for me with the iPad is Accordance - if that could become what it is on the Mac I am not sure why I then need a Mac anymore

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On 10/23/2022 at 12:25 PM, Nathan Parker said:

@R. Mansfield Since you're really enjoying iPadOS, what are some things you're doing on an iPad now that you used to use a Mac for? 

 

Nothing in regard to work for OakTree/Accordance. I am employed by a company that has a strong presence on the Windows and macOS platforms, so my weekday work takes place on an iMac connected to two additional monitors (I run Windows in Parallels on my iMac, too). But if I'm away from my desk, I try to use the iPad Pro as I prefer it. That might mean personal use of email after work or some other task such as something writing-related. I prefer the iPad for image manipulation. If I decide to get a change of scenery during my work day and go to a coffee shop, I try to decide ahead of time what I will be working on. If, perhaps, I'm writing copy for the Accordance blog or some marketing piece, I may very well just take my iPad Pro. I also do a lot of reading on my iPad Pro, but not exclusively.

 

I taught as an adjunct professor from 2004 to 2017. After the release of the iPad in 2010, I eventually transitioned to using an iPad exclusively for teaching. I could stand in the back of the class and connect wirelessly to the projector so that students' focus would be on what we were discussing and not me. I either bought digital copies of textbooks or digitized them myself. I was at the point that I would walk into the classroom with literally only my iPad. One summer when we vacationed in the country of Panama, I was still teaching an online class at the time. Because we were traveling with a group, we were limited to only one small suitcase per person for the entire week. I had alerted my class that I would be unavailable for much of the time, but I managed to check in with them daily and even keep up with assignments using only an iPad mini and very small bluetooth keyboard.

 

Back in my Baptist days, I almost exclusively carried an iPad to church for teaching and occasional preaching after the device's release in 2010. I even performed a few funerals and weddings using an iPad. I could see where many Protestant pastors could do most of their work on an iPad Pro. 

 

 

6 hours ago, Leopold Green said:

I know Final Cut, Logic and X-code are not available and if you need them then you need a MacBook

 

But I believe these two are coming. You'll remember when Final Cut Pro X was released, changing the interface and file format of FCP. Lots of features were missing that were later added back in. A couple of years later, Apple did the same thing with Pages, Keynote, and Numbers so as to lay a groundwork for a common codebase between macOS and iOS versions of the software. I believe Apple changed FCP for the very same reason. Every WWDC or every time new iPad Pros are released, I keep expecting the Final Cut Pro for iPadOS to be announced. And Xcode along with it. These machines are definitely powerful enough now. It's just a matter of time.

Two significant improvements to the iPad are worth noting. A year or two ago, mouse/trackpad support was added. Secondly, the M2 delivers full external monitor support. These are tablets that are being setup for use in desktop computing environments. 

 

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Good info! Thanks for sharing! I’ve been doing mostly reading on my iPad mini. I have Ulysses running on it, so I could get a small bluetooth keyboard for it for long-term typing if I wanted to take something smaller than a notebook with me on-the-go (I have a 5th Gen iPad mini, I could see if there’s a good keyboard case for it).

 

I like the info about teaching with an iPad. I’d probably do that unless I’m working heavily in Accordance and want to show off the full power of Accordance in a classroom, then I’d need to bring a Mac along, since in addition to teaching content, I want to incorporate using Accordance in the classroom so students walk away from the classroom gaining research skills. Basically, I’m serving them a fish dinner first, then showing them how I caught all the delicious fish they just ate so they can fish for themselves.

 

I agree that FCPX and Xcode are likely coming. FCPX has got to be a preparation for FCP for iOS. They’ve probably waited until adding mouse/trackpad support and M-Series processors. Swift Playgrounds on iPad is also getting to the point where one can code a light app and submit it to the App Store from the iPad. They’re using it as a beta ground to see what coders want improved in a workflow, then a more full-fledged Xcode will be the solution.

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55 minutes ago, R. Mansfield said:

 

But I believe these two are coming. You'll remember when Final Cut Pro X was released, changing the interface and file format of FCP. Lots of features were missing that were later added back in. A couple of years later, Apple did the same thing with Pages, Keynote, and Numbers so as to lay a groundwork for a common codebase between macOS and iOS versions of the software. I believe Apple changed FCP for the very same reason. Every WWDC or every time new iPad Pros are released, I keep expecting the Final Cut Pro for iPadOS to be announced. And Xcode along with it. These machines are definitely powerful enough now. It's just a matter of time.

Two significant improvements to the iPad are worth noting. A year or two ago, mouse/trackpad support was added. Secondly, the M2 delivers full external monitor support. These are tablets that are being setup for use in desktop computing environments. 

 

 

I imagine FCP will make it to the iPad.  I mean, Xcode for all intents and purposes is now available on the iPad with Playgrounds — but no professional developer would ever think of using an iPad for software development (disclaimer, I've been an iOS developer since the first SDK was released and a programmer on other platforms for 15 years before that).

 

I certainly use the iPad for non-consumption activities as well — but only as a fallback when I don't have a laptop or not sitting at my desktop.  The iPad is an amazing device — maybe even my favorite computing device — but productivity in a multi-app environment, multitasking, file management, and all the different types of apps I use require a level of interaction that can't be matched except in a windowed, multitasking environment with a keyboard and a mouse.   That includes Bible study for me.  I can do it on an iPad, but it's not as productive.   Evening in iOS 16 on my 12.9" iPad Pro, the keyboard, mouse and multi-screen support is abysmal... and many believe the wheel was already invented and Apple is trying as hard as they can to reinvent it and failing to the detriment of the users (just give me the option to run a true windowed environment (aka MacOS) on the iPad already when I want to.

 

It feels like everyone wants to force everything through one device — and that's illogical to me unless you are severely financially constrained (in which case, I'm not sure technology is the best place for limited resources anyway?)  They are all great — with particularly use cases that match the strengths and weaknesses of the hardware.  I wouldn't take an iMac (or MBP) into the pulpit to preach (I preach from an iPad Pro ever Sunday).  I wouldn't develop software on an iPad or iPhone (or do general computing unless I'm on the road and don't have another choice — but appreciate that I can when I need too.  I mean, it's awesome working on a Keynote from my iPad or using Accordance when I have nothing else.   Otherwise, I do my bible study and sermon prep (and software development) on a 5K 27" monitor that my aging eyes can read and the dexterity provided by a mouse and the screen real estate provided.

 

In other words, let's embrace them all!  :D  (Really hoping for more extensive Accordance functionality on the iPad with 14!! 😜)

 

 

Edited by Rich
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Good pointers. I agree there’s a device for every need, and I use a combination of them in my workflow as well.

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Side note: my iPad Pro white whale: a mechanical keyboard cover 

 

When Apple released the Magic Keyboard Cover with Trackpad a year or two ago, I was thrilled to discover it would work with my 2018 iPad Pro. So I bought it to replace the previous keyboard cover Apple had earlier made available. I like the way the iPad Pro sits on the stand and I can use it in my lap. The keyboard is pretty good for what it is, and the trackpad works great. 

 

However, I greatly prefer a mechanical keyboard over low-travel keyboards popular today from most computer makers, including Apple. With the iMac on my desk, I have the Keychron C2 keyboard, which I am using to type this. I was previously using a Das Keyboard, which I still have, but it took up more space on my desk than the C2. For travel, I have the Keychron K2 to go with my MacBook Pro. 

 

Apple will never do this, and I imagine no one else will either, but I wish a third party would introduce a folio cover case for the iPad Pro that included both a mechanical keyboard and trackpad. I know this would have to be a lot bulkier than the current design, but there would be room in my bag for it. However, I also recognize that my wife would probably not appreciate the noise from a mechanical keyboard when I'm using my iPad Pro while we're watching TV 🙂 

 

If any of you ever see something like this (I've looked), please let me know.

 

For those in the know who are curious, I prefer blue switches, which I have in my C2 and Das Keyboard; but I did opt for slightly less noisy brown switches on my K2.

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It will be interesting to see if Apple Pencil hover will trigger Accordance’s crossover highlighting on the M2 iPad Pro. Currently, you have to touch a word to get it to cross highlight in the iOS/iPadOS version of Accordance.

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Good info. It’s been years since I’ve used a mechanical keyboard, but I miss the feel of them. I should get one sometime. I haven’t been a fan of low-travel keyboards for a while.

 

Have you ever used a Launch keyboard from System76? I saw one on there when I had the Linux notebook from them. They said it works with macOS as well. It is mechanical, and you can fully move around the keys on the keyboard. It looks insanely expensive, but I’ve heard it’s also built like a tank. I was going to get one with my Linux machine, but now that I’m back on a Mac, I never did. Since it works with macOS though, I guess it’s still an option.

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I’m still using a 2018 11” pro and hoping that iPadOS will finally live up to even this hardware potential. I’m finding iPadOS 16 an improvement but still generally underwhelming and I’ve got no intention of moving on to an m-chip until I have to or until something really powerful happens with the os. 

Edited by A. Smith
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On 10/25/2022 at 1:28 AM, Rich said:

It feels like everyone wants to force everything through one device — and that's illogical to me unless you are severely financially constrained (in which case, I'm not sure technology is the best place for limited resources anyway?)  They are all great — with particularly use cases that match the strengths and weaknesses of the hardware.

I get what you’re saying. But for me, I want to be able to do what I need/want to do, regardless of which device I happen to have with me. If I’m waiting in an office and have a thought of a particular construct that I’d like to investigate and I’ve only got my iPad (which happens more than I’d like to admit, and I take illy iPad nearly everywhere) I want to be able to do that. And the hardware is capable of it, I’m confident in that. So why not?

 

i know you’re not disagreeing, btw. And I know there is a different use case for different hardware. But the line between iPad and MacBook is getting quite narrow. And, for my use, stage manager may—may—help with the need multiple windows. I’ve yet to put enough time into it yet. I didn’t beta-anything as my iPad and MBP are mission critical and I don’t want to mess with bugs and whatnot I don’t have to. 

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1 hour ago, A. Smith said:

I get what you’re saying. But for me, I want to be able to do what I need/want to do, regardless of which device I happen to have with me. If I’m waiting in an office and have a thought of a particular construct that I’d like to investigate and I’ve only got my iPad (which happens more than I’d like to admit, and I take illy iPad nearly everywhere) I want to be able to do that. And the hardware is capable of it, I’m confident in that. So why not?

 

i know you’re not disagreeing, btw. And I know there is a different use case for different hardware. But the line between iPad and MacBook is getting quite narrow. And, for my use, stage manager may—may—help with the need multiple windows. I’ve yet to put enough time into it yet. I didn’t beta-anything as my iPad and MBP are mission critical and I don’t want to mess with bugs and whatnot I don’t have to. 

 

I don't disagree with wanting to have complete capability from all devices so I can have the freedom to choose based on the device I happen to have with me.  I yearn for more power in Accordance for iPad for example.  It won't be my primary research platform, but I certainly want that capability when I need it.  Like you, I always have my iPad with me.  

 

As an aside, I really dislike Stage Manager on iPad.  I just don't like the whole workspace-oriented design — it's kludgy and painful to do anything serious with (and this seems to be a widespread complaint).  I'm still hopeful that Apple will figure it out, but it will probably take another year or two.

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