KUALA LUMPUR,  April 21 — It’s inevitable, really, whenever the latest (insert Apple product here) comes out I get asked if I’d recommend it. The new iPad Pro is great but that makes it even trickier deciding on who would be best served by it.

If you missed the news, Apple launched a new line of products including tracker tags, redesigned iMacs, an updated Apple 4K with a greatly improved remote and yes, the new iPad Pro.

A beating M1 heart

What stands out most about this year’s iPad Pro is that it now shares the same processor as its latest Macs — the M1 chip. The iPad Pro has always had a crazy-fast processor but having a desktop processor changes the tablet game.

Apple claims that the new chip offers 40 per cent performance gains over last year’s model but basically offering desktop processing power in a tablet is a step up.

Now of course the inevitable question is whether the iPad Pro could run MacOS or if there are plans for that to happen.

The answer on whether it will come with MacOS is as of now: no. Why not? Apple’s been reticent about adding touch-capability to the MacOS platform despite it being a norm on Windows computers.

Though Microsoft has added Intel processors to its Surface tablets, Apple has firmly kept its tablet and laptop lines separate, form factor and operation system-wise.

Seen through a technical standpoint, despite running on an M1 processor, the iPad Pro’s software and hardware architecture differ enough from the Mac’s that it would take serious tinkering with the MacOS for it to run on an iPad.

Let’s not forget that while you can run iOS apps on the Mac, anything that is touch-dependant does not run very well. Sure you can install them but you can’t quite replicate the ease of using an iOS app onto a desktop. 

The highlight of the iPad Pro update is the new Liquid Retina XDR screen on the 12.9-inch model . — Picture courtesy of Apple
The highlight of the iPad Pro update is the new Liquid Retina XDR screen on the 12.9-inch model . — Picture courtesy of Apple

Again, who would want this?

With the huge upgrade to the 12.9-inch display which has a Liquid Retina XDR screen powered by 10,000 minute LEDs, it’s rather obvious who this iPad Pro will appeal to most.

The event demos highlighted such apps as Filmic Pro, Procreate, Adobe’s apps and Lumifusion—which means it will appeal most to media creatives on the go.

Adobe has worked closely with Apple to replicate the desktop experience very closely on the iPad and has also updated its suite of products to run on machines using the M1 processor.

With the additional 2TB of storage and the support for Thunderbolt to add on accessories, the iPad Pro makes an attractive proposition for creatives who want a lot of power and portability.

Social media has especially been a boon for apps such as Procreate where artists regularly share art drawn on iPads with Procreate directly to Instagram and other sharing platforms.

Procreate’s time-lapse replay has also allowed artists to share their process as well as create tutorials.

Being able to both draw, edit video and then share their creations in the shortest time has made the iPad very popular with digital artists with a large online following.

While Apple did also share demos of how easy it is to edit music scores on the iPad Pro it would be interesting to see if in future iPad Pros will also be music studio mainstays.

As of now, there is no release date for the iPad Pro besides a “soon” but pricing starts from RM3,499 for the 11-inch model and RM4,799 12.9-inch model with the higher storage options (1 and 2TB) coming with 16GB RAM and the other models with 8GB RAM.

While the new purple iPhone 12 model will probably be the most ‘flexed’ on Instagram in the next few weeks, the new iPad Pro might just end up being on the most desired list for creative professionals this year.