iPad Pro

iPad Pro – Nearly Brilliant, 6 Ways it Could Be Better

Blog, Technology

It’s less than two weeks since Apple announced the iPad Pro which will be available later this year. This is something I’ve been very excited about and I’m tempted to take the plunge and buy one when it comes out. However, some people have been describing it as a potential laptop replacement. I would love for that to be the case but despite the introduction of the dedicated keyboard and the apple pencil, there are still some features missing that I think could really make a difference. So here are five ways the iPad Pro could be a brilliant tablet…

Mouse Support

iPad Pro Smart KeyboardThere is a very good reason why Apple have never made a touchscreen laptop. When you use one, you’ll get arm ache. The same applies to the iPad Pro, which when mounted on their Smart Keyboard, will present the same problems. This will obviously be quite a controversial suggestion, but using a mouse or trackpad is very intuitive and very easy. When needing to make fine adjustments to an image, an audio clip or graphic, my fat fingers just don’t cut it.

I have no idea if this is something that Apple would ever consider, but it would be a very useful option to have.

iPad Pro Level Apps

A pro-level iPad should have pro-level apps. Watered down versions of apps with heavily reduced functionality will struggle to make a difference to many professional’s workflow. Now, I’m not suggesting that desktop apps should be directly ported over the iOS, iOS apps are very efficient and that should continue. Rather, app developers should make use of the larger screen and better processing power of the new iPad. I’d love to be able to make minor mixing edits on an iPad Pro version of Logic Pro X or Adobe Audition, splice some video and put together some clips in an iPad Pro version of Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere, edit sheet music in Sibelius for iPad and make some edits in a more fully featured version of Photoshop for the iPad Pro. Then when I get home resume working on my main computer.

I’m sure that something like that is what Apple would like to achieve and now they have put the hardware in place, let’s hope the developers get more adventurous.

iOS Redeveloped for the iPad

When the original iPad was launched many people said it’s just a big iPhone but without the phone. A little harsh at the time, but the hardware for the iPad has become so much more sophisticated that we really do need a different version of iOS for iPhone and iPad. The video below is from The Verge with their hands-on video with the iPad Pro shortly after the Keynote. Look at the home screen on the iPad Pro. It looks ridiculous. The space between each of the icons… all that wasted space. We’re now at the point where iOS needs to be a little different for this new iPad. The home screen could easily have the space for a way to access recent documents without having to look for a specific app. How about a way to see recent downloads too like you can on a Mac? It would also be quite handy to have the option of having shortcuts to specific iCloud Drive folders on the home screen. The space is there, now the iOS engineers need to make use of it.

3D Touch

3D Touch on iPad Pro?It probably took a gargantuan effort to bring 3D touch to the iPhone and clearly, it’s a technology not yet ready to appear on the iPad. Having 3D touch on the iPad would be a wonderful thing though. The iPad equivalent of a ‘right-click’ would help speed up a wide range of tasks and in conjunction with some pro-level apps, would provide professionals with a powerful tool.

Maybe this is something we will see in an iPad Pro 2 or 3.

4K Video Recording

Okay, this is more of a luxury request and won’t appeal to a lot of people and yes, taking photos on an iPad is incredibly uncool. I do however, use the iPad to film things quite often. It’s great for making quick videos without having to get other equipment out. Filming 4K video on a 12.9″ viewfinder? Yes please!

Native Memory Stick Compatibility

As great as using e-mail and cloud services as a means to transfer files is, sometimes just being able to connect a USB memory stick to the iPad would far quicker and easier. I’m not calling for the inclusion of a USB port on the iPad, I’m more than happy to use a lightning adapter. Plugging in a memory stick and seeing it appear on the home screen, viewing more than just photos and being able to open documents in apps on the iPad or copy them to iCloud Drive would be amazing. And while I’m on the subject of USB, how about connecting it to a USB printer instead of relying on AirPrint which quite frankly, seems non-existent in the workplace.

So here are my six suggestions that would make the iPad Pro an irresistible product. Some of this I’m sure could be brought to the iPad through software development and hopefully iOS 10 or above will see some of these things arrive. However this post is not really a criticism of what Apple have done with the iPad Pro. It looks fantastic and I can’t wait to try one out.

What would you like to see on an iPad Pro? What would convince you to give up the laptop? Let me know in the comments below.

Baldur’s Gate for iPad Review

Blog, Reviews, Technology

Baldur's Gate iPadThis is a game I’ve been wanting to play again for many, many years. The original Baldur’s Gate released 14 years ago was yesterday re-released on the iPad. I remember playing the original game on a Pentium 166Mhz machine with 16MB RAM. The 10 inch iPad I have in my hands is more powerful than this machine. A few years ago I tried to run it on a more modern machine, but running a game originally at 800×600 pixels on a HD monitor made it look frankly awful.

Best iPad Apps for Music Teachers

Blog, Education, Reviews, Technology

Late last year I got myself an iPad 2. Since then it has hardly ever left my side. In the classroom I use it to film music performances, keep track of student progress, make resources, plan lessons, play music to students and more.

The great thing about the iPad is that it’s multiple devices rolled into one. Whilst still quite an expensive luxury item, it’s changed a lot about the way I teach in the classroom. I’ve decided to review and list some of the best iOS apps I used in the classroom and write a bit about them. Some are paid, some are free, but it’s worth clicking the links and checking them out.