First impressions of the iPad Pro

I did it. I bought a new iPad Pro, pencil, and keyboard and it arrived today. This is my first impressions after using it for a few hours.

I know you are probably thinking, you’ve only owned it for a few hours how can you possibly review something in that short amount of time? You would be right but my theory is if I wait to write about it later then I will not be able to remember my first impressions. So it’s best to write about it now before I sleep.

First is the unboxing. You have to hand it to Apple here. The packaging is always fantastic. From the snugness of the boxes, to the plastic tabs placed in just the right location to pull it open. It shows a level of care that is unsurpassed. I’m thinking about you, toy vendors, with your awful store shelf packaging.

With all three unboxed I was surprised at how big the iPad is. I went with the twelve inch model and immediately thought I should have went with the smaller version but I didn’t want a condensed keyboard. Speaking of the keyboard, I couldn’t figure out how to attach it so I had to consult the instructions which gave iKea like drawings demonstrating how it works. It only took looking at this about two seconds to figure out how it worked.

On startup I setup the typical iCloud syncing and instantly needed to do an upgrade. I let that run and came back to finish the setup and download all my primary apps.

At this point I remembered a new feature is the split screen which I wanted to utilize for writing. That way I could do research on one side and write in my text editor on the other.

I fired up Safari to search and find out how to do it. One of the first results was a Mac site that I’ve heard of and clicked it to find out the details. As I started scrolling an advertising popup appeared, I pushed the tiny “x” with my finger and was immediately reverted to some weird site and then immediately sent to Amazon. I closed Safari, went to the App Store and downloaded an ad blocker. I know it’s a cliche, but this is why we can’t have nice things!

I’m very impressed with the improvements since my last iPad. The keyboard works much like my Mac with the ability to command + shift to cycle between apps and command + space to spotlight search. All that I’ve found missing is an escape key that I’m constantly looking for.

I didn’t have a lot of time to work with the pencil but compared to an old stylus I had it’s leaps and bounds better. Being able to put my hand on the screen and draw is a life saver. Plus the pressure sensitivity and general feel of it are great.

One thing I’d like to mention that has bothered me. The touch to unlock is instant on the iPhone 6+, in fact it’s so fast that I have to use another finger if I want to see the lock screen. The iPad feels like it comes with an old version of this sensor and with my workflow I want it to be instant. I am constantly using it in combination with 1password and those few extra seconds are noticeable.

Overall I’m impressed. This is indeed a laptop replacement for most people. I can do everything on this except development work.

What really excites me is I created this post using nothing but iOS. I snapped the main picture with my iPhone, cropped and edited in pixelmater, wrote this post in Ulysses, and published directly through the WordPress app. This is the first time I’ve ever felt comfortable enough to write and publish outside of my Mac.